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No. i 




Under the Direction of the 

Departments of History, Political Economy, and 
Political Science 



Professor of History in Austin College 







Under the Direction of the 

Departments of History, Political Economy, and 
Political Science 




Professor of History in Austin College 









CHAPTER I. Party Reorganization, 1824-1828 n 

CHAPTER II. The Antimasons 33 

CHAPTER III. The National Republicans 53 

CHAPTER IV. The Democrats 72 

CHAPTER V. The Injection of the Bank into the Cam 
paign 105 

CHAPTER VI. The Conclusion of the Campaign 135 




An account of the presidential campaign of 1832, it may 
be well to state, cannot be confined solely to that presiden 
tial year, as might perhaps be done with a present day na 
tional campaign. Today our sharply differentiated, perma 
nently organized parties have a definite political machinery 
which functions rapidly and efficiently in designating their 
candidates and in stating the platforms upon which they will 
go before the country. Consequently our national cam 
paigns now are limited wholly to the presidential year, one 
might almost say to the time embraced between April and 
November of that year. This speed and precision of oper 
ation is due largely to our superior means of travel and 

Presidential campaigns during the period 1824-1832 were 
facilitated by no such present-day means as railroads, tele 
graphs, telephones, good roads and automobiles. Then, the 
circulation of both individual and information was limited by 
such speed as could be extracted from equine motive power 
traveling over roads which often hardly merited the name. 
This state of affairs the river steamboat did little to improve 
owing to its limited application. For this, if for no other 
reason, presidential campaigns were of much longer dura 
tion then than now. In addition, it was a period of political 
change; new parties were developing, party principles were 
becoming fixed, and new methods of choosing candidates 
were being tried. All these causes operated to make the 
presidential campaign of the period an affair of never less 
than two years duration. That such was the case is shown 
by the fact that the campaign of 1824 was well under way 
before the close of 1822, that of 1828 began as soon as its 
predecessor closed, and the opening of that of 1832, by no 
stretch of imagination, can be put later than July 4, 1830, 
the date Gay s campaign for the presidency was launched. 


v jij PREFACE 

For these reasons then, any adequate treatment of the cam 
paign of 1832 necessitates considerable attention to much 
that occurred in the four years following Jackson s first 
election in November, 1828. 

In this monograph the writer s aim has been to show the 
party development and the maneuvers which affected the 
course and outcome of the presidential campaign of 1832, 
and in this movement appears the first application of the 
nominating convention to political practice. So much has 
been written on the Jacksonian period that a new study re 
quires justification, but the topics here emphasized have 
never been adequately treated. 

So closely are the presidential campaigns of 1824, 1828 
and 1832 connected by the two topics, the development of 
political parties and the early application of the nominating 
convention idea, that adequate treatment of the campaign of 
1832 involves a study of the two immediately preceding it- 
It was this which makes necessary the brief summary of the 
campaigns of 1824 and 1828 contained in the first chapter. 
In this chapter and elsewhere I have pointed out, I believe 
for the first time, the significance of the first state nominat 
ing convention in Pennsylvania, the germ and precedent for 
its successor, the national nominating convention, and that 
the idea of the latter had been suggested as early as Febru 
ary, 1822. I have shown how Antimasonry came to in 
augurate in American politics the use of the nominating con 
vention. It has never before been clearly shown how en 
tirely a one-man party the National Republican was in the 
campaign of 1832, and how hard pressed it was for a leading 
issue on which to oppose Jackson. I have endeavored to set 
forth in some detail the internal struggle for the succession 
in the Democratic party and the bearing of the resulting 
breach between Jackson and Calhoun on the campaign. In 
the same connection I have tried to correct the view that the 
Democratic convention of 1832 owed its origin solely to 
Jackson s determination to force Van Buren on the party as 
vice president. What actually took place in the three na- 



tional conventions aside from the bare references to the 
nominees and the two-thirds rule regarding their establish 
ment of precedents, such as the unit rule, which are in use 
today, is a neglected subject on which I have tried to throw 
light. Some new light has also been thrown on the political 
tactics of the United States Bank. Further research has 
brought out clearly the political paradox of 1832, a situation 
where Antimasons and National Republicans were both doing 
their utmost against Jackson yet were unable to unite behind 
one candidate, though both parties were well aware that cer 
tain defeat awaited their failure to combine. I have also 
established as nearly as possible the way in which the party 
names " National Republican," " Democratic " and " Demo 
cratic Republican " were used during the campaigns of 1824, 
1828 and 1832, and their status at the close of the latter con 
test. This topic has been placed in the appendix, as it suited 
the structure of the monograph better there than if attached 
to either the chapter on the Democrats or that on the Na 
tional Republicans. 

This study was undertaken at the suggestion of Professor 
John H. Latane, of the Johns Hopkins University, to whom, 
with Professor John M. Vincent, also of the Johns Hopkins 
University, I wish to express my sincere appreciation and 
hearty thanks for their helpful interest and advice. To 
Professor J. S. Bassett. of Smith College, I am also in 
debted for valuable suggestions. I desire to make special 
acknowledgment of the unfailing kindness and courtesy of 
those in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, 
and particularly of the valuable assistance rendered me by 
the Assistant-Chief, Mr. John C. Fitzpatrick, whose kind 
ness in lending me the proof sheets of Van Buren s Auto 
biography prior to its publication so appreciably facilitated 
my work. Acknowledgment is also due to Mr. Charles 
Fickus, of the Maryland Historical Society Library, for his 
help in locating some useful Antimasonic pamphlets and 

S. R. G. 




James Monroe s second administration terminated the line 
of Revolutionary founders of the United States which had 
filled the presidency since the inception of that office. It 
likewise terminated the so-called " Virginia dynasty " which 
had uninterruptedly supplied the presidential material during 
the last twenty-four years. These two circumstances made 
possible the complete disintegration of the old Republican 
party which had come into power with the "Virginia dy 
nasty " and was now to make a simultaneous exit. 

The prime factor in the Republican party s long domina 
tion of national politics under direction of the Virginia line 
of presidents was the Virginia-New York alliance. This 
combination had been founded by Jefferson and indoctri 
nated with his political philosophy. Its power rested upon 
the political alliance of Virginia and New York, supported 
by certain States greatly under the influence of their ex 
ample; namely, New Jersey in the North, and Kentucky, 
North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia in the South. Under 
this combination, to Virginia went the presidential and to 
New York went the vice-presidential selection. The Presi 
dent s influence and preference exercised such weight in the 
designation of his successor that, immediately the latter was 
known, he was styled by his enemies " the heir apparent." x 

1 Charming, History of the United States, 1789-1815, vol. iv, 
chap, vi; Bassett, Life of Andrew Jackson, vol. i, pp. 323-324; cf. 
Henry Adams, History of the United States, 1801-1807, vol. ii, pp. 



Just prior to the opening of the campaign of 1824, tne 
mainsprings of the Virginia-New York alliance were two 
organizations known as the Richmond Junto of Virginia and 
the Albany Regency of New York. Each of these political 
organizations dominated the politics of its particular State, 
and hence of the adjoining States in so far as the latter in 
clined to follow the political lead of Virginia or New York 
in a presidential contest. The Junto was the looser organ 
ization of the two, being composed of some dozen men of 
high character, political intelligence and prominent families, 
with no one individual predominating. The Junto s mouth 
piece was the Richmond Enquirer, whose editor, Thomas 
Ritchie, was one of the members. The Regency had been 
born in the factional struggles of New York State politics 
between the followers of DeWitt Clinton and Martin Van 
Buren. By 1822 the latter faction under Van Buren s able 
leadership was completely victorious, and their leader the 
political master of the State. The Albany Regency was a 
consequence of this victory and comprised the faction s 
leaders in the State, all upright, able men, most of whom 
held office of some sort at Albany. Its mouthpiece was the 
Albany Argus, edited by one of its members, Edwin Cros- 
well. So effective was this machine s centralized control 
that, excepting about two years, it dominated the State, and 
was a prominent factor in national politics for over twenty 
years. 2 

The Republican party s character had changed markedly 
during the quarter century in which it had dominated the 
country s politics. Its rival, the Federalist party, had died, 
attainted with disloyalty to the country in the War of 1812, 
so that since 1816 it had been unopposed by any political 
enemy, and had come to embrace a vast majority of the en 
tire electorate. The disappearance of political opposition 

2 Lynchburg Virginian, quoted in Richmond Enquirer, May 6, 
1823; cf. Niles Weekly Register, vol. xxvii, pp. 1-5, 17-21; for 
Regency, Thurlow Weed, Autobiography, p. 103; Jabez D. Ham 
mond, History of Political Parties in New York, vol. ii, p. 157. 


and the country s war-born tendency toward nationalism 
had been chiefly responsible for the change in the party s 
original character. The alteration had been furthered by 
Monroe s policy of appointing men to office with slight at 
tention to their former political creed, and likewise by his 
inclination to favor internal improvements at national ex 
pense. Consequently, by 1822 the line of demarcation be 
tween a Republican and a member of the former Federalist 
party was so dim as to be practically invisible, and the old 
party landmarks had so far vanished that the Republican 
party was sponsor for the Bank of the United States, the 
protective tariff, and was markedly inclining toward a cen 
tralized nationalistic policy relative to internal improvements. 8 

The presidential campaign of 1824 was, therefore, an intra- 
party contest in which all the candidates, broadly speaking, 
professed the same principles. Consequently the contest was 
fought primarily on the basis of the relative personal fitness 
of the candidates for the presidency a campaign of oppos 
ing persons rather than principles, the latter being subordi 
nated to the man and used principally as incidental to his elec 
tion. Hence the contest necessarily hinged on the method 
by which the candidate was to be nominated or selected 
and therefore elected. The struggle for the coveted office 
was the immediate factor which shattered the Republican 
party into five fairly distinct factions. 

Monroe was hardly well under way with his second admin 
istration before mention was being made of various indi 
viduals to succeed him. Indeed, as early as April, 1822, 
there were sixteen or seventeen such would-be candidates 
before the public. 4 This number before the end of the year 
had narrowed to Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, William H. 

3 Van Buren, Autobiography (John C. Fitzpatrick, Ed.), Annual 
Report of the American Historical Association for the year 1918, 
vol. ii, p. 124 ; Niles Register, vol. xxiii, p. 401 ; Richardson, Mes 
sages and Papers of the Presidents, vol. ii, pp. 144-183; James 
Parton, Life of Andrew Jackson, vol. iii, pp. 86-87. 

*Niles Register, vol. xxii, p. 130. 


Crawford, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. Each 
of these had entered the field from a different angle and 
looked with more or less confidence to various sources of 
support for success. 

Clay s course for several years had been shaped toward the 
presidency. Popular in the West, one of the " war hawks," 
negotiator at Ghent, several times Speaker of the House, he 
relied on this record, but more particularly on his advocacy 
of a high protective tariff and the construction of roads and 
canals at national expense the "American System" and 
of increase in the military establishment to secure him gen 
eral support, especially in commercial and manufacturing 
New York, Pennsylvania and New England. 5 Calhoun, like 
Clay, relied on vigorous support of a nationalistic program, 
the Bank and tariff particularly, and upon his able admin 
istration of the War Department in Monroe s cabinet, to 
gether with his popularity in South Carolina and Pennsyl 
vania. 8 Adams, favorite son of New England, negotiator 
at Ghent, generally admired for his skillful handling of the 
Department of State, a vigorous nationalist, had also in his 
favor the feeling that the North was now entitled to fill the 
presidential chair. 7 

Crawford had been near supplanting Monroe for the nom 
ination in 1816, had been several years Secretary of the 
Treasury, an office controlling a great deal of patronage, and 
in addition was favored by Jefferson and the Virginia in 
fluence. He further had the support of a large part of the 
administration press. He professed Republican principles 
more strictly Jeffersonian as to States Rights and internal im 
provements than did Clay, Calhoun or Adams. More effec 
tive still, his cause was the cause of the Regency and the 

5 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 116; Thomas H. Benton, Thirty 
Years View, vol. i, pp. 22, 32. 

6 Van Buren, ibid.; Hammond, vol. ii, p. 126; Gaillard Hunt, John 
C. Calhoun, p. 48. 

7 Hammond, vol. ii, pp. 127-128 ; Parton, vol. ii, pp. 655-656 ; Miles 
Register, vol. xxv, pp. 340, 360, 370. 


Junto, and Van Buren, his chief manager, was untiring in 
his behalf, making several trips to Virginia to coordinate 
the efforts of the alliance and to confer with Jefferson and 
other leaders of the party. 8 Jackson s chances rested on the 
general admiration of his military record, the almost idol 
atrous worship in which he was held by the democracy of 
the country, especially in the West. His views on both 
tariff and internal improvements were not definitely known, 
but as far as could be ascertained from his expressions and 
votes in Congress, he favored both so far as they contributed 
to the country s military strength, and no farther. 9 

Judging by the views of these candidates on the subject 
of internal improvements at national expense, and by the 
expressions of contemporary political leaders, by the middle 
of 1823 there was a barely visible tendency in the Republican 
party to divide into two general groups on opposite sides of 
the question of a national, as opposed to a States Rights, pol 
icy concerning internal improvements. Inclined, but not pos 
itively committed, to the strict construction attitude were 
Crawford and Jackson with their followings, so far at least 
as the latter heeded the constitutional side of the question. 
Strongly advocating the loose construction view of the na 
tional government s powers on this score were Adams, Clay 
and Calhoun, with their supporters. The tendency was 
noticed by Jefferson, Van Buren and Benton, the latter 
stating it thus : 

The candidates for the Presidency spread their sails upon the 
ocean of internal improvements. Congress was full of projects for 
different objects of improvement, and the friends of each candidate 
exerted themselves in rivalry of each other, under the supposition 
that their opinions would stand for those of their principals. Mr. 

8 Jefferson, Writings (P. L. Ford, Ed.), vol. x, pp. 235-236; Van 
Buren to G. A. Worth, March 16, 1822, M. Ulshoeffer to Van 
Buren, April 2, 1822, Van Buren to Smith Thompson, June 4, 1823, 
Van Buren, MSS.; Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 131, 177, 514. 

9 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 449; Annals of Congress, i8th 
Cong., ist sess., vol. i, pp. 583-738, passim; Bassett, Life of Andrew 
Jackson, vol. i, pp. 344-345; Jackson to Coleman, April 26, 1824, in 
Niles Register, vol. xxvi, p. 245. 


Adams, Mr. Clay, and Mr. Calhoun were the avowed advocates of 
the measure, going thoroughly for a national system of internal im 
provements; Mr. Crawford and General Jackson under limitations 
and qualifications. 10 

The number of candidates made it certain that if all re 
mained contenders for the office none would have a majority 
of the electoral votes, and the election would end in the 
House of Representatives. This was universally regarded 
as a very undesirable termination, but there agreement ended. 
The congressional caucus, the mode of selecting the party s 
candidate in use for twenty years past, pleased nobody ex 
cept the Crawford faction. It was this need for some better 
method than the caucus for fixing upon a candidate that pro 
duced the first suggestions that a national nominating con 
vention of the party should be resorted to. The first of these 
was in an anonymous letter to Hezekiah Niles in February, 
1822 ; lx Thomas Ritchie made another like suggestion in his 
paper of August 13, 1822 ; 12 and a third was made by a mem 
ber of the Pennsylvania delegation in Congress in a letter 
to the editor of the Franklin Gazette dated January 6, i824. 13 
The idea was not adopted, however, primarily it would seem, 
because the divisions in the electorate caused by the several 
factions prevented the general party cooperation necessary 
to the establishment of this large piece of political machinery. 

Under the leadership of Van Buren, who was in close con 
tact with the Junto and the older Republican leaders in Vir 
ginia, the Virginia-New York alliance backed Crawford s 
candidacy, and by the summer of 1823 his chances were of 
the best. At this juncture he was prostrated by a paralytic 
stroke and for a time his life was despaired of. This nec 
essarily damaged his chances with the country, but the Junto- 
Regency combination would not withdraw him. Seeking to 
place upon him the stamp of " regular " candidate, they began 

10 Benton, Thirty Years View, vol. i, p. 22 ; cf . Van Buren, Auto 
biography, p. 116; Jefferson, Writings, vol. x, p. 282. 

11 Niles Register, vol. xxi, pp. 403-404. 

12 Richmond Enquirer, August 13, 1822. 

13 Niles Register, vol. xxv, p. 306. 


moves looking to the holding- of a congressional caucus for 
that purpose. 

No congressional caucus had been held since that of 1816, 
and this one had aroused considerable adverse criticism. The 
functioning of such a caucus consistently with party harmony 
was possible only when a majority of Republican sentiment 
favored one candidate, a condition emphatically not the case 
in the pending campaign. Hence the Crawford faction s 
move for such a caucus savored so strongly of an attempt to 
force him upon the party as to bring on a revolt against the 
old method, in which all the other factions participated. 
Nevertheless the Crawford managers persisted and called a 
congressional caucus in February, 1824. This was so far 
from having present a majority of the members of Congress 
as to merit the name " rump." 14 Its nomination of Craw 
ford and Gallatin injured the former s chances much more 
than it benefited them. 15 

The anti-caucus revolt had really been born in the demo 
cratic West with the nominations of Jackson and Clay by 
caucuses of their respective state legislatures in the latter 
part of 1822. These nominations had been endorsed by 
other state legislatures, using the same mode, in various 
Western and Southwestern States. All of these state nom 
inations were designed to anticipate any move by the con 
gressional caucus, and this means of forestalling its action 
was also adopted by the supporters of Adams and Calhoun 
in the East. 

Jackson, more than any other candidate, was a man of the 
masses, hence his chief strength lay with the democratic 
West and Southwest. When first announced, his candidacy 
was not regarded seriously, 16 but this view underwent a 

14 Ibid., pp. 388-392, 401-406. 

13 Jackson to Donelson, February 12, 1824, A. J. Donelson MSS. ; 
Daniel Webster, Private Correspondence (Fletcher Webster, Ed.), 
vol. i, p. 346. 

16 Van Buren to G. C. Verplanck, December 22, 1822, Van Buren 
MSS.; Richmond Enquirer, July 30, 1822. 


rapid revision during 1823. During the closing months of 
this year Jackson sentiment spread like wildfire through the 
State of Pennsylvania. 17 This enthusiastic adoption of 
Jackson by Pennsylvania had several highly important results. 
It made Jackson the leading candidate by fortifying his 
western and southwestern strength with the twenty-eight 
electoral votes of Pennsylvania, a position he retained until 
the election entered the House of Representatives. It an 
nihilated Calhoun s presidential candidacy, thereby causing 
him to withdraw in Jackson s favor in return for the latter s 
support of him for vice-president, 18 thus breaking ground 
for the future alliance of South and West. Lastly, the 
Pennsylvania stampede to Jackson introduced the genuine 
nominating convention, on a state scale, into American na 
tional politics. 

This convention was in all respects the germ of the pres 
ent-day national nominating convention. The call for it was 
issued by a caucus of the Jacksonians in the state legislature 
and representation in it was apportioned according to the 
electoral strength of the constituent units, the counties. In 
its organization it resorted to the plural number of vice- 
presidents for honorary purposes, and conducted business, 
in part at least, by the committee system. It made presi 
dential nominations, chose a ticket of electors and issued an 
address to the people, the precedent for the modern plat 
form. 19 

For all the desperate efforts of the Regency and Junto in 
behalf of Crawford, his prospects remained gloomy, and this 
gloom was accentuated by a complete overturn by the Clin- 
tonians in New York of the Regency s control of the State. 20 

17 Niles Register, vol. xxv, pp. 167, 194, 242, 258. 

18 Nathan Sargent, Public Men and Events, vol. i, p. 41 ; Niles 
Register, vol. xxv, pp. 258, 407-408; vol. xxvi, pp. 19-20; Van 
Buren to B. F. Butler, February 2, 1824, Van Buren MSS. 

19 Niles Register, vol. xxvi, pp. 19-20. 

20 Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 142, 145, 149 ; Hammond, vol. 
ii, pp. 122, 131-132, 163, 165, 175-178, 188; Weed, Autobiography, pp. 


This caused the Georgian the loss of nearly all that State s 
thirty-six electoral votes and brought him into the House of 
Representatives, ahead of Clay it is true, but hopelessly be 
hind Jackson and Adams, the respective electoral vote being 
for Jackson 99, Adams 84, Crawford 41 and Clay 37." 
Thanks to the support of both the Adams and the Jackson 
following, 22 Calhoun was elected vice-president by a large 
majority of the electoral vote. 

The election of John Quincy Adams by the House of 
Representatives was directly due to the influence and per 
sonal efforts of Henry Clay. 23 The Kentuckian s assistance 
had been courted by both Adams and Jackson men. Hence 
the charge that his support of Adams had been secured by 
means of a promise of the State Department, and originating 
with one of the Jacksonians, is not surprising, the less so, 
in fact, since the campaign just ended had been mainly one 
of personalities and recriminations. Although the charge 
against Clay was not proven, its falsity was never conclu 
sively demonstrated; but true or false, it was destined to 
play a prominent part in shaping party combinations. 

Among the results of the campaign, the first to be accom 
plished was the complete obliteration of the already faint line 
between the former Federalist and Republican parties. The 
most potent factor in this had been Jackson s candidacy, 
coming as it did on the heels of Monroe s amalgamation 
policy. The Tennessean s large popular vote and electoral 
plurality were due to the general admiration of his military- 
record and to a widespread conviction of his integrity and 
sincerity. To these was added also the widespread aversion 
to the caucus system. 24 Furthermore, some letters that 
Jackson himself had written to Monroe some eight years 

21 Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 144-145; Hammond, vol. ii, pp. 
177, 178, 188; Niles Register, vol. xxvii, p. 382. 

22 Niles Register, vol. xxvii, p. 382 

23 Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 149-153; Hammond, vol. ii, p. 

24 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 449. 


earlier had been used in the campaign. These contained an 
appeal to Monroe to exterminate the monster of party spirit 
by appointing to office men of ability and integrity regardless 
of their former party affiliation. 25 These letters must have 
been of considerable effect in drawing to Jackson the sup 
port of former Federalists, for so many of them supported 
him that, according to Van Buren, the vote he received was 
" a mixed one given by former adherents of all parties." 26 

Another result of the campaign, produced by the move 
ment toward popular nominations, had been the complete 
demolition of the congressional caucus as a means of nom 
inating presidential candidates. This old method had been 
replaced by the individual state nominations made by party 
caucuses in the legislatures. This substitute was effective, 
but far too prone to militate against the unity and discipline 
of an organized party to remain other than a temporary ex 
pedient. Suggestions for a national nominating convention 
had been made, however, and the state nominating conven 
tion in Pennsylvania had established a precedent admirably 
adapted to a democracy, based as it was upon popular repre 
sentation apportioned according to electoral strength. The 
disappearance of the caucus, furthermore, transferred the 
seat of president-making, that is, the selecting of the party 
candidates, from a relative handful of individuals in Wash 
ington, to the country at large; hence in future campaigns 
every cross-roads, hamlet, village and town would be able to 
participate actively. 

A third result of the campaign was the dissolution of the 
Virginia-New York alliance. Only Georgia, among the 
four States formerly dominated by Virginia, had remained 
loyal to Crawford, the remainder being distributed between 
Jackson, Adams and Clay. New Jersey had broken away 
from New York s leading, and the latter State had over- 

25 Jackson to Monroe, October 23, November 12, 1816, January 
6, 1817, Jackson MSS. 

26 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 449. 


thrown the Regency s control. This failure of the Regency 
had been the prime, if not the sole, cause of Crawford s 
crushing defeat, and since failure is one of the deadliest sins 
a political machine can commit, it is not surprising that re 
lations between Junto and Regency for a time totally ceased. 27 

The most important single result of the campaign was the 
shattering into five factions of the old Republican party. A 
corollary of this, but equally important, was the tendency, 
faintly visible as early as 1823, of these five factions to co 
alesce into two groups the one very mildly in favor of, the 
other wholly committed to, a nationalistic program. The 
leaders of the first were Crawford and Jackson, of the 
second, Clay, Adams and Calhoun. 28 

Clay s acceptance of the State Department from Adams 
entailed results more far-reaching than are perceptible at 
first glance. It cemented indissolubly the political fortunes 
of the two men, and was immediately responsible for the 
merging of their respective factions, readily possible from 
their entire accord as to a nationalistic policy founded on 
loose construction. Clay s acceptance lent color to the " cor 
rupt bargain " charge, laid against him by the Jacksonians, of 
obtaining his office in return for supporting Adams election 
in the House of Representatives. This charge was at once 
circulated all over the country and kept resounding for the 
next four years. This with the other furious attacks on the 
new administration rendered it impossible for Clay to with 
draw from his position even had he desired. 

The least known of the consequences of Clay s union with 
Adams was its effect on Calhoun. The latter, elected vice- 
president by virtue of the support of both Adams and 
Jackson s followers, was in a position to incline his political 
strength toward either of them. His course seems to have 
been dictated purely by self-interest. As soon as he learned 

27 Philip N. Nicholas to Van Buren, October 13, 1826, Van 
Buren MSS. 

28 Cf. Benton, Thirty Years View, vol. i, p. 22 ; Van Buren, Auto 
biography, p. 116; Jefferson, Writings, vol. x, p. 282. 


of Adams* intention to appoint Clay Secretary of State, and 
therefore his probable successor, Calhoun made it known to 
the President that in this event he would join the opposition 
and assist in organizing it behind Jackson ; he even went so 
far as to suggest what men he preferred in the new cabinet. 29 
Adams ignored this threat and Calhoun within the year 
turned to the Jacksonians. 

The simultaneous wreck of Crawford s health and presiden 
tial aspirations resulted in his withdrawal from national poli 
tics. His followers, who regarded themselves and were gener 
ally considered doctrinally as the true Republicans of the old 
school among the adherents of the late Virginia-New York 
alliance, remained aloof from initial attacks on Adams and 
Clay. Badly disorganized, they were now confronted with 
the problem of choosing a new political chief. Jackson s in 
definite constitutional views and uncertain attitude toward 
internal improvements caused them some hesitation in join 
ing him; but between his uncertainty and the nationalist 
tendencies of the Adams-Clay group they naturally preferred 
the former. 

Adams inaugural address and his first annual message to 
Congress, particularly the latter, gave all loose construction- 
ists a wholly gratuitous shove Jacksonward. Its phrase as to 
the folly of being " palsied by the will of our constituents " 30 
in the vigorous prosecution of a centralized nationalistic pro 
gram, was the signal for a furious outburst of denunciation 
from the Jackson, Crawford and Calhoun press. Following 
his inaugural address, which had been in tone a forecast of 
his first annual message, the confirmation of Clay s nomina 
tion had been attacked in the Senate by the Jacksonians, 
supported by a few Crawford and Calhoun senators. 31 In 

29 John Quincy Adams, Memoirs (C. F. Adams, Ed.), vol. vi, p. 

30 Richardson, Messages and Papers, vol. ii, pp. 311-317. The 
phrase quoted above occurred in his first annual message to Con 

31 N iles Register, vol. xxviii, p. 17; Benton, Thirty Years View, 
vol. i, p. 55. 


the following April John Marshall wrote Clay from Rich 
mond that there were signs of a violent opposition to the ad 
ministration forming. 32 In June Van Buren openly came 
out in favor of Jackson for next president. 33 In short, the 
former Calhoun and Crawford men were gravitating rapidly 
toward Jackson, and this gain more than counterbalanced any 
losses resulting from the defection of his Federalist follow 
ing to Adams. Hence the President s first annual message 
was tantamount to driving home a nail already started. It 
now only remained to clinch it ; namely, to unite firmly be 
hind Jackson the Regency- Junto combination in New York 
and Virginia. 

In Congress the opposition to the administration rapidly 
solidified. Van Buren and Calhoun conferred and agreed in 
attacking the President s proposed Panama Mission. Van 
Buren led the fight on the Senate floor, ably seconded by 
Randolph, by Hayne of South Carolina and by Benton of 
Missouri. The attacks were by no means limited to this sub 
ject alone, but embraced every conceivable means of harass 
ing or discrediting the policy of the administration before 
the country. 

As a result of the war upon the executive in and out of 
Congress, by the time that body adjourned in May, 1826, the 
lines, both party and constitutional, upon which the next 
campaign was to be fought were clearly drawn. It would 
be Adams or Jackson; a nationalistic governmental policy, 
or the rule of the masses and reform. The campaign was 
to be based, however, more upon the personality of the can 
didates than upon the principles which they represented. In 
a contest of this kind all the advantage would be with Jack 
son. Adams, though a statesman, trained administrator and 
diplomatist, was totally lacking in the personal qualities that 
make up a leader. He was much too stiff, too cold and 

32 John Marshall to Clay, April 4, 1825, Clay, Private Corre 
spondence (Colton, Ed.), p. 121. 
88 Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 198-199. 


austere, to arouse popular enthusiasm or to attract a large 
personal following. Jackson was everything Adams was not 
in this respect. His picturesque career, combativeness, de 
votion to friends and fiery courage had made him the idol of 
the West, the more so since that section as a whole was con 
vinced that his defeat in the House of Representatives had 
been due to political trickery and to a disregard of the popu 
lar will. 34 Furthermore, since the abolition of the congres 
sional caucus, nominations and president-making could no 
longer be exclusively manipulated from Washington, and 
this gave Jackson s democratic following much more weight 
than it had possessed in the late campaign. 

Jackson s campaign was carefully organized and ably con 
ducted. Composing his support were three distinct elements 
or wings : the followers of Calhoun, principally in Pennsyl 
vania, the Carolinas and Alabama; the former Crawford 
strength, chiefly in New York, Virginia and Georgia; Jack 
son s own democratic following in the West and in Pennsyl 
vania. The Calhoun wing of the party was dominant at 
Washington. It was led by Calhoun himself, supported by 
a number of other prominent men of national reputation, and 
though numerically the weakest section of Jackson s support, 
in personal influence it was the strongest. It also controlled 
the party organ, the United States Telegraph, 35 whose editor, 
Duff Green, was father-in-law of Calhoun s son. Next to 
the Calhoun group in the prominence of its leaders was the 
Crawford wing, led by Van Buren. This group, provided 
the Regency could regain control of New York and re 
establish the alliance with the Junto, would be decidedly 
stronger numerically than that of Calhoun; but aside from 
Van Buren, it possessed no man of the caliber of Hayne, 
Cheves, Dallas, McDume and others in Calhoun s train. In 
Van Buren, however, it had a leader without a peer in the 

34 Undated paper in John McLean s handwriting, apparently 
written about 1828, in McLean MSS. 

35 Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 514-515. 


country for political acumen, judgment and management. 
Strongest in numbers, Jackson s western and Pennsylvania 
supporters formra the basis of his strength, but they were 
weak in leaders of national importance. Such men as Hugh 
L. White, John H. Eaton, Kendall and Hill were numerous 
among them, but of leaders of the Calhoun type as to repu 
tation, prominence and culture, they had few, and none at 
all comparable to Van Buren as a political manager and or 

It had been made painfully clear to the Jacksonians, that 
to achieve success against an opponent who, like Adams, 
could rely upon the solid 51 electoral votes of New England, 
at least two of the three largest States New York, Pennsyl 
vania and Virginia were necessary to their candidate in ad 
dition to his southern and western support. Upon Pennsyl 
vania they could rely, but the vote of New York and Vir 
ginia was another matter. In Virginia prejudice against an 
administration headed by Jackson, and therefore redolent of 
the masses, was hardly less strong than the dislike of Adams 
latitudinarianism. 36 In New York, Jackson had had little 
or no support in 1824, hence it is apparent how essential to 
his cause was the reestablishment of the Regency s control 
of New York under Van Buren and a renewal of the en 
tente between it and the Junto in Virginia. 

The achievement of this constituted Van Buren s most 
vital service to the Jacksonian cause. By adroit handling he 
and the Regency not only regained political control of New 
York through reducing Clinton s support to a bare majority 
in the state election in 1826, but they also successfully alien 
ated him from Adams and Clay and secured his not wholly 
enthusiastic adherence to Jackson. 37 By apparently doing 
no more than allowing the Richmond Junto to realize the 
rather unpalatable alternative of choosing between Adams 

36 Nicholas to Van Buren, October 13, 1826, Van Buren MSS. 
% 37 Niles Register, vol. xxxi, pp. 178, 210, 242; Van Buren, Auto 
biography, pp. 15^-165 ; Hammond, vol. ii, pp. 207, 232-235, 256-257. 


uncompromising nationalistic proclivities and the rule of the 
western democracy through Jackson, Van Buren, by Octo 
ber, 1826, found the Junto again ready to join forces with 
the Regency in supporting Jackson. 38 He therefore lost no 
time in welcoming this accession to the party s strength, and 
thus under his leadership the New York-Virginia alliance 
was restored. 39 Unlike its combination, broken in 1824, 
New York was now the senior partner, and the alliance s 
political strength was now limited mainly to the two States. 

Van Buren s services to the Jackson party did not end 
with reforming the New York -Virginia alliance. He worked 
hard to harmonize the Crawford and Calhoun wings of the 
party in the East from New York to Georgia. Immediately 
after restoring cooperation between Regency and Junto, ac 
companied by his lieutenant Cambreleng, he traveled from 
New York to Georgia through Virginia and the Carolinas, 
stopping for some days with James Hamilton and other Cal 
houn leaders in Charleston, and visiting his former chief, 
Crawford, in Georgia. 40 In addition to this, he corresponded 
with Calhoun and Jackson leaders in Pennsylvania, 41 and 
cooperated in harmony with Calhoun in Washington during 
the sessions of Congress. 42 

From the termination of the congressional elections of 
1826-1827, in which the Jacksonians everywhere made large 
gains, until the presidential election, the campaign raged with 
a fury unprecedented in American politics. In its course 
principles were entirely subordinated to personalities, and 
in this respect it far outstripped the campaign of 1824, in 
which the abuse and recrimination had at least been dis 
tributed among several candidates. Now the struggle was 

38 Nicholas to Van Buren, October 13, 1826, Van Buren MSS. 

89 Undated letter in Van Buren s hand in reply to that of Nicho 
las ; Van Buren to Ritchie, January 13, 1827, Van Buren MSS. ; Clay 
to Brook, December 23, 1826, Clay, Correspondence, p. 153. 

*Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 169, 367; Niles Register, vol. 
xxxii, p. 198. 

41 Ingham to Van Buren, September 26, 1828, Van Buren MSS. 

42 Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 200-202, 514-517. 


limited to two, with the entire nation supporting one or the 
other, and the dominating principle was, anything to beat 
Jackson or Adams as the case might be a question of the 
superior fitness of the person to be selected rather than of 
the political principles. One of the candidates was seeking 
re-election to office, an office which, according to his enemies, 
he held by virtue of a political bargain and sale; the other 
was possessed of a highly spectacular past. With such 
sources from which to draw charges and counter-charges, 
it is not surprising that the campaign has never been sur 
passed in our political history in bitterness of personal re 
crimination and in the extent to which it carried the villifi- 
cation and defamation not only of the candidates themselves, 
but of their families and friends as well. 

In this campaign the tendency, noted above, of factions to 
align on opposite sides of the issue of a strongly nationalistic 
and centralized governmental policy, completed its initial 
stages. Two sharply defined political parties are plainly ap 
parent before Adams had been in office a year. Marshall s 
letter to Clay, warning him that "there is unquestionably a 
party determined to oppose Mr. Adams at the next election," 
has already been noticed. 43 In January, 1826, Clay wrote 
Webster of his perfect confidence that Adams would be 
elected in spite of the opposition. 44 Later in the same year 
he wrote him " at this time there are but two parties in the 
Union, that of the administration, and the opposition." 45 In 
another letter a few months later, he expressed the party 
situation as follows : " It appears to me to be important that 
we should, on all occasions, inculcate the incontestable truth 
that now there are but two parties in the Union, the friends 
and the enemies of the administration." 46 

To the Crawford men who joined Jackson early in the 
campaign, and who claimed to be the true Republicans of the 

43 Marshall to Clay, April 4, 1825, Clay, Correspondence, p. 121. 

44 Clay to Webster, January 14, 1826, Webster MSS. 

45 Ibid., November 10, 1826. 
48 Ibid., April 14, 1827. 


school of 1798, Jackson s attitude on the question of strict 
versus loose construction, while not as clear as they wished, 
was far preferable to the latitudinarian views of Adams. 
Both Albany Regency and Richmond Junto were clear 
on that point. It was this very vagueness, almost amount 
ing to equivocation, in Jackson s position, which had enabled 
Calhoun and his followers to ally themselves with the Jack- 
sonians in the late campaign. 

As the anti-tariff agitation, beginning in 1823-1824, rose 
in South Carolina, Jackson s non-committal attitude enabled 
him to hold on to both the Pennsylvania and South Carolina 
elements which constituted Calhoun s strength. Not so with 
Calhoun. Pennsylvania, his former stronghold, remained in 
favor of protection. South Carolina s violent revolt against 
nationalism, part of which was her objection to the tariff of 
1824, forced Calhoun to reverse his former nationalistic atti 
tude. His change of heart was publicly announced on Feb 
ruary 28, 1827, when the highly protective "woolens bill" 
was before the Senate and a tie vote forced him as vice-pres 
ident to pass or defeat the measure. 47 His vote against it, 
a bill popular in Pennsylvania, weakened materially his polit 
ical strength in that State and limited his following to the 
South. Of his former Pennsylvania supporters all but rela 
tively few, but these including several prominent state leaders 
like Ingham, became staunch Jacksonians beyond Calhoun s 
power to shake. On the other hand Jackson s tariff views 
were sufficiently indefinite to hold the allegiance of the Cal 
houn men in the South, more especially since Adams and 
nationalism were the only alternatives. 

In the last year of the campaign of 1828, the state conven 
tion as a means of nominating presidential tickets reached 
its highest development and widest use ; indeed, for the most 
part it superseded the state legislative caucus for this pur- 

47 Albany Argus, March 19, 1827; Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 


pose, especially in the more democratic States. 48 In the use 
of this instrumentality, Pennsylvania again led the way. 
The conventions of both parties in this State met early in 
January, 1828, their principal object in each case being the 
vice-presidential nomination. Presidential candidates of 
course were named, but this was merely endorsing an ac 
complished fact. 49 The state nominating convention itself 
was destined to be superseded in turn in the next campaign 
by its logical offspring on a national scale, but continued in 
use to some extent for a considerably longer period. Its 
adoption in 1824, however, marks the first application of the 
true nominating convention idea, with representation based 
on the electoral strength of the component units, the counties. 
One other event of the campaign should be noticed, the 
birth of Antimasonry in New York, resulting from the ab 
duction and probable murder of William Morgan. 50 So 
rapidly did this party grow, that one year after Morgan s 
disappearance it had elected fifteen members of the state 
legislature, 51 and the Regency could not safely allow it to 
join forces with the administration s supporters in the State. 
There was danger that this would occur, for, while Adams 
was not a Mason, Jackson was high in the counsels of the 
order. Hence both Regency and Adams men worked to win 
the support of the Antimasonic party. 52 In this contest the 
Adams party was successful ; indeed its only hope of carry 
ing the State was by virtue of Antimasonic aid. 53 

48 Niles Register, vol. xxxiii, pp. 129, 315-316, 332-334; Richmond 
Enquirer, January 10, 17, 1828; United States Telegraph, January 
17, 22, 30, 1828; Pennsylvania Reporter and Democratic Herald, 
January 6, n, 1828. 

* 9 Niles Register, vol. xxxiii, pp. 316, 332-3345 National Gazette, 
January 10, 1828; Pennsylvania Reporter, January n, 1828; United 
States Telegraph, January 17, 1828; Van Buren, Autobiography, 
pp. 514-516. 

50 Weed, Autobiography, p. 242; Hammond, vol. ii, pp. 378-385. 

51 Charles McCarthy, "The Antimasonic Party," in Annual Re 
port of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, vol. 
i, chap, xvi, pp. 371-374; Albany Argus, November 23, 1827. 

52 Hammond, vol. ii, p. 386. 

53 Thurlow Weed Barnes, A Memoir of Thurlow Weed, p. 32. 


Had the Antimasons been solidly united in supporting the 
Adams convention s nominees for governor and lieutenant- 
governor, Thompson and Granger, 54 the latter an Antimason, 
the two parties together might have carried the State in 
spite of the Regency. A split, however, among the Anti- 
masons led the more radical element to put a separate ticket 
in the field Southwick and Crary 55 which made success 
impossible. Van Buren had meanwhile been watching the 
situation closely, and in the summers of 1827 and 1828 had 
made trips through the doubtful western part of the State. 56 
He assured Jackson of a decided majority of the State s 
vote, 57 but nevertheless deemed it advisable to head the state 
ticket himself, and accordingly was nominated for governor 
by the Regency s convention in September, i828. 88 

Long before the presidential ballots were cast in Novem 
ber, 1828, observers, even those friendly to Adams, foresaw 
the outcome. 59 Clay himself admitted that " it is mortifying 
and sickening to the hearts of the real lovers of free govern 
ment that the contest should be so close, and that if heaven 
grants us success it will be perhaps by less than a majority 
of six votes. 5 60 The event realized the administration s 
worst fears. It was a Jackson landslide. Every State in 
the entire South and West Clay s own Kentucky included 
gave Jackson its entire electoral vote. Excepting New Jer 
sey and Delaware, six votes from Maryland and sixteen 
from New York, Jackson carried all the Middle States. 
Even in New England he received one vote from Maine and 
rolled up a large minority of the popular vote in that State 
and in New Hampshire. So well had Van Buren and the 
Regency done their work that, despite the efforts of the ad- 

54 Adams Convention held at Utica, July 23, 1828, Albany Argus, 
August 4, 1828; Weed, pp. 302-303. 

55 Hammond, vol. ii, p. 389. 

56 Ibid., p. 288. 

57 Van Buren to Jackson, September 14, 1827, Van Buren MSS. 

58 Niles Register, vol. xxxiv, p. 346 ; Hammond, vol. ii, p. 288. 
69 Hammond, vol. ii, p. 286. 

60 Clay to Webster, October 24, 1828, Webster MSS. 


ministration and the Antimasons, twenty of New York s 
thirty-six votes went to Jackson, and the Junto carried Vir 
ginia by a majority of I5,ooo. 61 

The election had been a fight between democracy and aris 
tocracy primarily both terms used in their looser sense 
and a struggle between particularism and centralization sec 
ondarily. Each party, in theory at least, however much in 
practice it resorted to personal attacks upon its opponent, 
advocated certain definite principles of governmental policy 
which it proposed to practice if successful. With the 
Adams-Clay men it was the "American System/ With 
the Jacksonians it was the rule of the people, to be instituted 
by a reform of the corruptions and abuses alleged by them 
to exist in the government and to have grown out of Adams 
federalism and his corrupt bargain with Clay. The Jackson 
party leaders of the western group, their president-elect es 
pecially, regarded the result as "a triumph of virtue and 
republican simplicity over corruption and an unprin 
cipled aristocracy." 62 "The people expect reform," said 
Jackson, " they shall not be disappointed ; but it must be ju 
diciously done, and upon principle." 63 

The campaign had very decided effects upon the political 
party situation. It eliminated Adams as head of the nation 
alistic republicans, which resulted in the turning of all eyes 
in that party toward Clay as its future leader, 64 and thus 
left him heir to the remnant of Adams following. It pro 
duced the first definite political alliance between the South 
and the West. It saw the weakening of Calhoun as the re 
sult of his enforced adoption of his State s about-face from 
nationalism to particularism. 65 Most important of all, it 
brought about the election of Andrew Jackson. This last 

61 Richmond Enquirer, November 28, 1828. 

62 William B. Lewis to James A. Hamilton, December 12, 1828, 
Van Buren MSS. 

63 Jackson to Van Buren, March 31, 1829, Jackson MSS. 

64 The Marylander, November 19, 1828. 

65 Houston, A Critical Study of Nullification in South Carolina, 
pp. 60-64. 


had been accomplished by no definite political party, prop 
erly speaking, but by the support of his democratic admirers 
west of the Alleghenies reinforced by the followers of Craw 
ford and Calhoun in the East and South. In this loose 
combination leading parts had been played by Calhoun, again 
vice-president-elect, and a number of his adherents who were 
nationally prominent. Important though their services to 
the Jackson cause were, they had been far surpassed by 
those rendered by Martin Van Buren. 



As already mentioned, the Antimasonic party participated 
in its first national campaign in 1828, being then confined to 
the State of New York. Almost from its inception the party 
suffered from a divided leadership. The mass of it was al 
most fanatical in its attitude toward Masonry and toward 
anyone even remotely connected with that institution. This 
extreme wing of the Antimasons favored the destruction of 
Masonry, first and foremost, and intended, by subordinating 
all other political issues, to accomplish its ends through a 
majority in the State legislature. On the other hand the 
ablest and most prominent leaders, Weed, Tracy, Whittlesey, 
Fitch and others, 1 desired to utilize the movement for polit 
ical ends primarily, and therefore did not hesitate to bend, 
or to sacrifice if necessary, the party s principles to expe 
diency. 2 

For convenience we may refer to these two elements in the 
party as the extremists and the politicians. The former 
composed the bulk of the party ; the latter had a monopoly in 
experienced political leadership. It was this condition which 
led most of the extremists to refuse to follow the politicians 
in joining forces with the Adams party in New York in the 
campaign of 1828, and to nominate as a separate guber 
natorial ticket Southwick and Crary. 3 But for this division 
it is probable that Van Buren would have been defeated for 
governor that year, and that Jackson would have received 
only a minority of the State s electoral vote. 4 

1 Weed, Autobiography, p. 336. 

2 McCarthy, The Antimasonic Party, p. 383. 

3 Niles Register, vol. xxxv, p. 89. 

* William H. Seward, Autobiography, 1801-1834 (F. H. Seward, 
Ed.), Pp. 73-74- 



The Utica convention of August 4, 1828, the first Anti- 
masonic state convention and that in which the politicians 
had tried to ally the party with the National Republicans 
had appointed a general corresponding committee for the 
State, composed of Whjttlesey, Weed, Backus, Works and 
Ely, all able politicians, and had empowered it to call future 
state conventions when it deemed necessary. 5 Two points 
in this connection are interesting to note. From their first 
local beginnings, the Antimasons resorted mainly to the small 
convention; hence it was natural that when their movement 
became statewide they should follow the precedent established 
by the Pennsylvania Jacksonians in 1824 and resort to the 
state convention, as they did at Utica in 1828. Second, this 
state corresponding committee of the Antimasons was exactly 
analogous in function to the present-day National Com 
mittee, which analogy was further exemplified when it called 
a state convention of its party and designated the time, the 
place, and the size of delegations. 6 

The convention thus called met at Albany, February 19, 
i829. 7 It was highly important for two reasons. It marked 
the Antimasons point of departure from state into national 
politics, while its proceedings and organization formed a 
model and precedent according to which its offspring, the 
national convention of Philadelphia in 1830, was operated. 

After a reconciliation between the extremists and the pol 
iticians, this Albany convention adopted a resolution dis 
avowing connection with any political party, State or national, 
and proposed to run an Antimasonic ticket at every subse 
quent state election, whether local or general. 8 Except for 
a resolution appointing a general central committee of cor 
respondence for the State, composed mainly of the politicians, 
the other acts of the convention were of a nature to further 

5 Proceedings of the Albany Convention, in Antimasonic Pam 
phlets, Maryland Historical Society. 

7 Albany Argus, Feb. 20, 1829. 

8 Proceedings of the Albany Convention. 


the party propaganda. Despite the strong element of ex 
tremists present, the superior political and forensic ability 
of Weed, Whittlesey, Fitch, Granger and others of the polit 
ical element enabled them to dominate the convention s ac 
tivities. Only one of its acts merits closer observation. 
Among several propagandic resolutions, Timothy Fitch pro 
posed one to appoint a committee of five to " enquire whether 
it is expedient for this convention to recommend a conven 
tion of delegates from the several United States, to be held 
at some future time and place, to deliberate on " the further 
ance of Antimasonic principles, " and if so whether it is ex 
pedient for this convention to designate the time, and place, 
and also the number of delegates for each State." 9 

This motion was adopted and Granger, Seward, Robinson, 
Lay and Green were appointed on the committee. Some 
hours later Granger reported for the committee that they 
had found such action expedient and submitted a resolution 
to hold a national convention of Antimasons at Philadelphia, 
on the nth of September, 1830, the delegates to be elected 
as each State saw fit and to equal in number its representa 
tion in Congress. The objects stated in the resolution for 
holding this national convention were the adoption of meas 
ures looking to the destruction of Masonry and similar secret 
societies. After submitting it, Granger made some explana 
tory remarks. He stated that the committee, in recommend 
ing this course, had been actuated by information from news 
papers and private letters that conditions were ripe for a 
general spread of Antimasonry in most of the States north 
of Maryland, and hence it seemed an auspicious time in which 
to hold a national convention for Antimasonic purposes. 
The resolution was adopted and thus the machinery was set 
in motion which resulted in our first political party con 
vention. 10 

Although the ultimate aim of the politicians was doubt 
less to enter the field of national politics, it was too early 

9 Ibid. ; Albany Argus, Feb. 23, 1829. 

10 Ibid. 


to let this be known to the party generally, hence the lan 
guage of the above resolution and the remarks made when 
it was presented show that its authors intended to convey 
the idea that this national convention was to be simply a 
means of spreading Antimasonry, and of uniting all efforts 
to break up the Masonic institution. What individual first 
suggested this national convention is unknown. Its alleged 
objects being what they were, it seems highly probable that 
the plan was borrowed from the Masonic practice of hold 
ing General Grand Encampments made up of delegates 
from the state organizations, as in 1826. This idea, in 
deed, was mentioned by Granger as an argument for de 
fending the proposed convention against charges of ulterior 
motives. 11 Henry Ward Dana s Antimasonic Review also 
justifies the Philadelphia convention on the same ground. 12 
Antimasonry, thus planning to enter upon a national 
career, was essentially anti-Jackson as well. Its extremists 
naturally were opposed to Jackson, who was a high Mason, 
and its politician element saw in him a formidable obstacle 
to local and national political progress. As noted above, 
in 1827 both the Adams and the Jackson party had made 
efforts to secure the Antimasonic support in New York. 
That this contest terminated in favor of Adams naturally 
set the Regency in New York and Jackson s followers else 
where firmly against Antimasonry. During the campaign 
of 1828 a letter from Adams stating that he never had been 
and never would be a Mason 13 had helped to draw his party 
and the Antimasonic politician element together. The doings 
at Albany, and especially the personnel of the state central 
committee appointed by that convention, prove conclusively 
that the anti- Jackson politicians among the Antimasons 
were again leading the party. It was with this group that 
the resolution for a national convention at Philadelphia 
originated. 14 

11 Proceedings of the Albany Convention, Granger s Report 

12 Ibid. ; The Antimasonic Review, I, vol. xii, p. 365. 

13 Weed. Autobiography, p. 312. 

14 The Antimasonic Review, I, vol. xii, pp. 364-365. 


Between this convention at Albany and that at Philadel 
phia, the Antimasonic movement spread in the States of 
Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Penn 
sylvania and Ohio with unprecedented rapidity. 15 The 
initial excitement aroused by Morgan s disappearance and 
probable murder was kept stirred by a series of reports, 
investigations and trials in New York until well into 1829." 
This agitation was exploited and constantly fanned in the 
public mind by the party s frequent conventions and by the 
notice given by such papers as Weed s Antimasonic En 
quirer and Ward s Antimasonic Review to their resolutions 
and addresses. 17 In this manner the charge was spread far 
and wide that the Masons controlled and intimidated legis 
latures, judges and juries, and that Masonic obligations con 
stituted a tie upon the individual more binding than the 
national constitution and laws. 

That the Antimasonic leaders were planning, despite the 
purely propagandic motives alleged by them at Albany, to 
utilize the Philadelphia convention as a means of entering 
the next presidential campaign is shown by their cautious 
casting about for a candidate previous to the date on which 
the convention was to assemble. They preferred Clay as 
their candidate because he had the most numerous following 
outside the Jackson party, but Clay himself was a Mason 
and it was not certain that he would renounce his allegiance 
to the order. Accordingly, he was sounded through his 
friends, and John McLean of the Supreme Court was also 
approached on the subject of Masonry before the Philadel 
phia convention met. 18 From Clay s friends came nothing 
definite as to his attitude toward Masonry, though they were 
profuse in cordiality and in assurances that Clay was the 

15 Ibid., James Buchanan to McLean, June u, 1829, McLean 
MSS. ; Niles Register, vol. xxxvii, p. 276. 
ie Weed, Autobiography, pp. 285-299. 

17 Ibid., p. 310. 

18 Ibid., pp. 351-352; G. W. Harris to McLean, May , 1830, 
McLean MSS. 


only man capable of defeating Jackson. 19 McLean wrote 
that he was not and never had been a Mason, but as he 
knew nothing of Masonic doctrines he could neither approve 
nor condemn them. 20 

Near the end of February, 1830, state conventions of 
Antimasons at Albany and Harrisburg 21 selected delegates 
to the Philadelphia convention. The former of these saw 
the exit of the extremist faction from all participation in 
the party s policy, since Southwick s paper was discarded in 
favor of Weed and his newly established Albany Evening 
Journal, as the state party organ. 22 This convention also 
gives further evidence of the leaders intentions to enter 
national politics with vigor, and to supplant the National 
Republicans as the chief opposition party. 23 It further re 
veals that Antimasonry had been making great progress 
not only in New York but in other neighboring States. 24 

The convention of Antimasons which met at Philadelphia 
on September n, 1830, was the first party convention on a 
national scale in our political history. 25 The credit for the 
application of the national convention idea to the party rests 
with Fitch and the committee which recommended it at 
Albany, though, as has been shown, the idea was not a new 
one. 26 The convention numbered 96 delegates from the ten 
States of New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Con 
necticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, Delaware, 
Maryland and Ohio. The party in New York was recog 
nized as the prime mover; indeed, the entire proceedings 
were controlled by that State s delegation aided by those of 

19 Weed, Autobiography, pp. 351-352. 

20 McLean to G. W. Harris, May 24, 1830, McLean MSS. 

21 Niles Register, xxxviii, p. 48 ; Hammond, vol. ii, p. 394. 

22 Weed, Autobiography, chap, xxxii; McCarthy, The Antima- 
sonic Party, pp. 393~394- 

23 Seward, Autobiography, p. 77. 

24 Ibid. Cf. Niles Register, vol. xxxvii, p. 276. 

25 National Gazette [Philadelphia], September 13, 1830; T. W. 
Barnes, Memoir of Thurlow Weed, p. 39. 

26 Proceedings of the Albany Convention. 


Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. 27 These three with 26, 
25 and 15 delegates respectively mustered about two-thirds 
of the total number present. 28 This control was reflected 
throughout the convention s proceedings. With hardly an 
exception every important committee was headed by a New 
York, a Massachusetts or a Pennsylvania man. 29 Indeed a 
comparison of the two shows a conspicuous likeness of the 
Philadelphia convention s proceedings to those at Albany 
eighteen months before. 

The convention s organization was effected thus. On 
motion by Whittlesey, a chairman and secretary pro tem- 
pore, both of Pennsylvania, were elected. A roll call of 
delegates by States, beginning with New York, followed, 
but there was no examination of credentials. Whittlesey 
then moved that a permanent chairman, four vice-presi 
dents and two secretaries be elected. These had been se 
lected by caucus some hours before the meeting convened, 
and accordingly were now elected, Francis Granger being 
chosen permanent chairman. He then made a brief speech 
of acknowledgment and reminded the meeting of the im 
portance of its deliberations to the party s cause. On Whit- 
tlesey s motion the president then appointed a committee of 
one from each State on order of business. This completed 
the organization. 30 

The next day Phelps of Massachusetts, chairman of the 
committee on business, reported fourteen separate resolutions 
each providing for a separate committee. The first of these 
was to be a committee on rules of procedure ; the remainder 
were charged with rendering reports on different phases of 
Masonic obligations and the effect of the latter on activities 
as diverse as commerce and Christianity, and with reporting 
means of spreading Antimasonic propaganda. These com- 

27 National Gazette [Philadelphia], September 13, 1830. 

28 Proceedings of the Philadelphia Convention, in Antimasonic 
Pamphlets, Maryland Historical Society. 

2 Ibid. 
o Ibid. 


mittees were formed according to both the plan and the ob 
jects pursued by the Albany convention. To them was added 
a finance committee authorized to raise money from among 
the delegates, and they all reported during the week, Sep 
tember 13 to 17 inclusive. Their reports were all adopted 
without more than casual debate and were ordered printed in 
the proceedings. 31 

The main point around which interest centered was the 
question of what should be the party s next move. There 
was of course no objection to another national propagandic 
convention such as the extremist element expected this to be ; 
but this would obviously not suit the politicians. Hence the 
threefold question was raised : Should this convention stamp 
itself as primarily a political one by nominating a presidential 
ticket? Should such nomination be deferred to a later sea 
son and another convention for that purpose? Or should 
no action at all of such nature be considered? On the one 
hand were the extremists who favored righting Masonry to 
the death by means of intra-state organization and propa 
ganda ; on the other were the politicians, now indubitably the 
party leaders, who wanted a national political organization 
headed by a presidential ticket in 1832. 

The whole question was precipitated by Curtenius, an ob 
scure New York delegate, when on the second day of the 
convention he suddenly moved for a committee to report the 
most expedient time, place and manner of nominating a pres 
idential ticket. It was immediately objected to as inexpe 
dient and was tabled. Nothing more was said on the sub 
ject until the next afternoon, when Curtenius withdrew the 
motion. This was not what the leaders wanted, and Whit- 
tlesey, supported by Phelps, immediately renewed it. This 
brought on the debate in which the extremists made a last 
stand against the schemes of the politicians for making Anti- 
masonry a national political party. 32 

31 Proceedings of the Philadelphia Convention. 

32 Ibid. 


For the extremists, Jones and Todd of Pennsylvania led 
the fight and insisted that Antimasonry was not strong 
enough or widely enough disseminated, and that the dele 
gates were unauthorized by their constituents to take such 
action. On the politicians side, Whittlesey, Phelps, Irwin 
and Thaddeus Stevens supported the motion vigorously. 
They insisted that Antimasonry to be most effective must 
necessarily be political, and that a presidential ticket would 
bring the party into wider notice. Irwin and Stevens even 
went to the point of advocating an immediate nomination by 
the convention. 

Whittlesey s motion was then amended to provide that a 
committee of one from each State be appointed to consider 
and report: (i) on the expediency of the party nominating 
a presidential ticket before the next election, (2) "on the 
manner, time, and place of making such nominations." Two 
days later Amos Ellmaker, chairman of the committee, re 
ported as follows: (i) That a nomination of a presidential 
ticket by the party was desirable, because the Masons held 
two-thirds of the national government offices and could be 
reached only by Antimasonry controlling those offices, and 
because such nomination would extend Antimasonry, bring 
it to more general notice and pave the way to success in 1836 
if not in 1832 ; (2) That they deemed it inexpedient to make 
a present nomination, since the delegates had no authority to 
do so, and especially since more time was necessary for Anti- 
masonry to spread and for opinion to crystalize on a candi 
date; (3) As to time, place and manner for the nominations, 
the report closed with a resolution " That, it is recommended 
to the people of the United States, opposed to secret so 
cieties, to meet in convention on Monday, the 26th day of 
September, 1831, at the city of Baltimore, by delegates equal 
in number to their representatives in both houses of Con 
gress, to make nominations . . . for . . . president and vice- 
president, to be supported at the next election ; and for the 


transaction of such other business as the cause of Anti- 
masonry may require." 3S 

All the various committees having reported, the address to 
the people of the United States was read and adopted, the 
convention recommended the utmost vigilance and activity to 
local committees, appointed a national corresponding commit 
tee, and adjourned sine die. 34 

This first national convention of a political party s dele 
gates established several important precedents. It adopted 
from the state convention the chairman pro tempore, the per 
manent chairman, the several vice-presidents for honorary 
purposes and the address to the people, the latter the germ 
of the future platform. It applied on a national scale the 
appointment of delegates according to the electoral strength 
of the basic unit, in this case the state, a quota which had 
been first adopted by the Pennsylvania state convention in 
1824 and generally followed by subsequent state conven 
tions. It introduced the roll call of delegates by states, the 
rules committee, the or der-of -business committee, the con 
duct of its business through the committee system, and most 
important of all, the resort to the nominating convention for 
selecting its presidential ticket. 

We have seen the reasons why no presidential nomination 
was attempted by the Philadelphia convention, and that one 
of these was the need for time in which to fix upon a candi 
date. The party leaders preference for Clay had received 
little encouragement ; 35 on the other hand McLean had as 
sured them that he was not a Mason. 36 The latter was en 
couraging, the more so since McLean was not unpopular 
throughout the country. Indeed, had the Philadelphia con 
vention made a nomination, McLean would most probably 
have been its choice, 37 particularly as signs were beginning 

33 Ibid. 

84 Ibid. ; The Antimasonic Review, II, vol. x, p. 317. 

35 Weed, Autobiography, pp. 350-352. 

36 McLean to George W. Harris, May 24, 1830, McLean MSS. 

37 B. W. Richards to McLean, September 20, 1830, McLean MSS. ; 
Seward, Autobiography, p. 79. 



to appear that the National Republicans intended to head 
their ticket with Clay. 38 As it was not certain that McLean 
would accept the nomination, it is not surprising that he was 
sounded further, that Richard Rush was approached, that 
John Quincy Adams was appealed to, while at the same time 
Clay s course was being hopefully watched during the inter 
val between the Philadelphia and Baltimore conventions. 

Clay himself in 1830 believed that Antimasonry would not 
be a serious obstacle to his success and counted upon the 
support of the Antimasons; indeed he was even willing to 
have his party assist their state ticket in New York in return 
for support from their presidential electors. 39 He over 
looked the fact that it would be difficult for even such politi 
cians as Weed and Tracy to line up their party behind him 
without some utterance from him against Masonry to aid 
them in the task. This he was unwilling to give. 40 Conse 
quently as time went on and he was nominated by one Na 
tional Republican meeting after another, and still no Anti- 
masonic statement came from him, the Antimasons turned 
more and more away from him. 41 Thus by April, 1831, John 
Sergeant was writing to Webster that the Antimasons were 
against Clay only less definitely than they were against Jack 
son, 42 and by the end of May that year a motion to instruct 
the Pennsylvania delegates to the Antimasonic convention in 
Baltimore against Clay was amended to omit his name only 
after a struggle. 43 By the end of June, 1831, Clay had 
definitely given up hope of an Antimasonic endorsement at 
Baltimore and was trusting that that party, seeing later the 
futility of success, would withdraw their candidate, in which 
case he rather than Jackson would receive their support. 4 * 

88 Niles Register, vol. xxxviii, p. 432 ; cf . Barnes, Memoir of 
Weed, pp. 39-40. 

39 Clay to John Bailhache, November 24, 1830, Clay, Correspond 
ence, pp. 288-289; Clay to Brooke, June 24, 1830, ibid., pp. 263-264. 

40 Niles Register, vol. xli, p. 260. 

41 Weed, Autobiography, p. 389. 

42 John Sergeant to Webster, April 9, 1831, Webster MSS. 

43 Niles Register, vol. xl, p. 237. 

44 Clay to Brooke, June 23, 1831; Clay to Adam Beatty, June 25, 
1831, Clay, Correspondence, pp. 303-305. 


During the first half of 1831 Richard Rush was considered 
as a possible nominee by the Antimasons. On April 26, the 
correspondence committee of York County, Pennsylvania, 
wrote asking him if he was a Mason and his views upon that 
subject. He replied satisfactorily and at great length, stat 
ing in positive terms that though he had once been a Mason, 
he had withdrawn from the order before 1826, and was 
wholly opposed to it as dangerous to republican government 
and therefore favorable to efforts to put it down. 48 This 
was of course entirely satisfactory to the Antimasons, but 
before the end of August he made known to their leaders 
that he would decline if nominated by the Baltimore conven 
tion. 46 Whether this unwillingness was due to Rush s de 
votion to the National Republicans, to a belief that the Anti- 
masonic ticket could not succeed, or to aversion to further 
public life, is uncertain. 

At the eleventh hour, about two weeks before the Balti 
more convention assembled, the Antimasonic leaders in New 
York, as urged by those in Massachusetts, approached John 
Quincy Adams to ascertain if he would accept their nomina 
tion. For this purpose they sent Tracy and Seward to con 
fer with him. He assented without enthusiasm, expressing 
a preference to the contrary, adding that he would accept a 
nomination only upon condition that no other man could 
command as many of the convention s votes. He also mani 
fested considerable reluctance to detract in any manner from 
support which might be accorded Clay as National Repub 
lican candidate. 47 

While McLean had stated that he had never been con 
nected with the Masonic order, his position in regard to it 
was not entirely satisfactory inasmuch as he had said that, 
knowing nothing of its doctrines, he could neither approve 

45 These letters are in the Antimasonic Pamphlets of the Mary 
land Historical Society. 

46 Adams, Memoirs, vol. viii, p. 403. 

47 Adams, ibid., pp. 400-401, 403, 412-413; Seward, Autobiography, 
pp. 198, 205-206. 


nor condemn them. 48 Accordingly Robert Hanna, one of 
the party leaders in Ohio, wrote with the Baltimore conven 
tion in view, asking McLean s sentiments as to Free Ma 
sonry. 49 To this the latter replied substantially as he had 
done to Harris, adding however, " I am in principle opposed 
to all combinations of men under whatever name or profes 
sion, who attempt to control the public will for the attain 
ment of selfish objects/" 60 This was more satisfactory to 
the Antimasons and from this time his stock rose steadily 
with them, and during the summer of 1831 he gave Weed 
and Tracy to understand that he was not averse to being 
nominated at Baltimore. 51 There was a string to this, how 
ever. McLean was not minded to resign from the Supreme 
Bench to become the leader of a forlorn hope, hence he had 
attached to his acceptance the proviso " In case there should 
be no other candidate against General Jackson." 82 In his 
readiness to accept on this condition he was actuated by the 
hope that the National Republicans, in their eagerness to 
defeat Jackson, would unite with the Antimasons in sup 
porting him as the opposition candidate. His hopes of this 
combination were raised when, in the August elections, the 
Jacksonians secured eight of the twelve congressional seats 
contested in Clay s own State, and it was suggested that Clay 
might be kept out of the presidential race in consequence. 53 

The first national nominating convention assembled at Bal 
timore, Monday, September 26, 1831, in the Athenaeum.* 4 
Such a convention was enough of a novelty to crowd the 
city hotels with delegates and spectators. 55 The total num 
ber of delegates was 116, accredited from the thirteen States 

48 McLean to Harris, May 24, 1830, McLean MSS. 

49 Robert Hanna to McLean, October 11, 1830, McLean MSS. 

50 McLean to Hanna, , 1830, McLean MSS. 

51 Weed to McLean, August 23, 1831, McLean MSS. 

52 Weed, Autobiography, p. 389. 

53 Niles Register, vol. xli, p. i ; Weed to McLean, August 23, 
1831 ; M. T. Simpson to McLean, August 26, 1831, McLean MSS. 

54 The Athenaeum was on the southwest corner of St. Paul and 
Lexington Streets (J. T. Scharf, Chronicles of Baltimore, p. 408). 

55 Baltimore Gazette, September 26, 27, 1831. 


of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode 
Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
Delaware, Maryland, Ohio and Indiana. Only the New 
York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania delegations were 
equal in numbers to the prescribed ratio ; hence, like that at 
Philadelphia, this convention was entirely controlled by these 
three states. Indeed, judging by its proceedings and the per 
sonnel of its committees, the New York leaders, seconded by 
those of Massachusetts, played the directing role. 56 Except 
Ohio with nine, no other State had more than six delegates 
present, and Maryland, Delaware, New Hampshire and In 
diana had but one each. 

The Baltimore convention, except for the nominations, 
introduced little in the way of organization and procedure 
that had not been put into practice at Philadelphia. This 
statement applies to the temporary and the permanent chair 
man, the several vice-presidents and secretaries, and the com 
mittee organization to conduct the business of the meeting. 
The one innovation, aside from the nominations, was the 
examination of the delegates credentials, which was not done 
by a committee, but by the officers in full convention. This 
in itself was not a new idea, but, like the nominating pro 
ceedings, was adopted from past state convention practice. 
One other noteworthy feature was the assignment of special 
places in the hall to the " reporters of the convention s pro 
ceedings." 57 

On Monday afternoon business began in earnest with the 
report of Phelps of Massachusetts, chairman of the commit 
tee on business, which comprised one member from each 
State and was entrusted with bringing before the convention 
necessary business. After citing the call by the Philadel 
phia convention of the present meeting, he recommended the 
appointment of six separate committees, whose respective 
functions were : to report on Masonic penalties, to compile a 

56 Proceedings of the Baltimore Antimasonic Convention, in Anti- 
masonic Pamphlets, Maryland Historical Society. 

57 Proceedings of the Baltimore Antimasonic Convention. 


list of Masonic obstructions of the proceedings against Mor 
gan s murderers, to express the convention s views on Ma 
sonry, to raise funds, to publish the proceedings of this and 
of the Philadelphia convention, and to prepare an address to 
the people of the United States. 

Phelps committee made two other recommendations, one 
calling for a report from the party s national corresponding 
committee, 88 the other containing the rules for governing the 
nominating proceedings. The latter provided that next day 
at noon, Tuesday, the nominations for president and vice- 
president should be made and "that the votes be taken by 
ballot separately for each of those candidates, and that the 
votes of three-fourths of all the members present, be con 
sidered necessary to constitute a choice." 59 Each of the 
above recommendations was considered in turn and was 
adopted. Thus originated the practice of requiring more 
than a simple majority to indicate the party s choice of a 
candidate. This precedent, modified to a two-thirds major 
ity, was followed by the Democratic convention eight months 
later, and by every subsequent convention of that party 
thereafter. Who it was that originated it in the Antimasonic 
order-of-business committee is unknown. 60 

The Antimasonic delegates came to Baltimore with the 
nomination of McLean a foregone conclusion among their 
leaders. All that was necessary to secure for him a unan 
imous choice as the party s candidate was his final announce 
ment that he would accept. 61 Weed and Tracy had been 
led to believe that he would certainly accept 62 and Thad- 
deus Stevens, who had also been in communication with him, 
was positive of it. 63 Indeed the rumor afloat in Baltimore 
during the Sunday immediately before the convention was 

58 Composed of Henry Dana Ward and two others, all of New 
York City. 

59 Proceedings of the Baltimore Antimasonic Convention 

60 Ibid. 

61 Richards to McLean, October i, 1831, McLean MSS. 
52 Weed, to McLean, August 23, 1831, McLean MSS. 

63 Seward, Autobiography, p. 89. 


that McLean would he its choice for president, with William 
\Yirt for vice president, the only uncertainty being as to the 
lattcr s accepting. 04 

Late that Sunday evening came the letter in which McLean 
promised to make known his final decision as to the nom 
ination. <;:> It was a politely firm refusal. The reasons al 
leged were that as Jackson, Clay and Calhoun were already 
before the people, the addition of a fourth candidate would 
merely "distract still more the public mind," and therefore 
"be injurious to ... the country" by entailing the choice 
by the 1 louse of Representatives of another minority presi 
dent, lie added further that as a member of the Supreme 
Court, he ought not to enter upon such a political enterprise 
" unless the use of his name would l>e likely to tranquilize 
the public mind." ( " Thus his ground for refusal was plainly 
his belief that he had no chance of success, because of Clay s 
entry into the field as National Republican candidate, a fact 
which he had recently ascertained." 7 

McLean s refusal was a heavy and disconcerting blow to 
the Antimasons. No one knew what the result would be 
and a hundred rumors were speedily afloat. One of these 
was that John Quincy Adams would be nominated; another 
stated that \Yirt would be the nominee."* Seward says that 
the refusal " fell like a wet blanket upon our warm expecta 
tions." The convention " felt that it could derive no strength 
or prestige from a nomination of one of its own well-known 
and practiced leaders. It needed a new name, not before 
identified with its history, ami a high name at that." tifl 

Nothing daunted, the resourceful party leaders, according 
to Seward. set themselves to work, "inasmuch as we could 

t;4 Letter to the Washington Journal from a correspondent, in 
Baltimore (Vi.-ette. September 2~. i8 v >i. 

" 5 Weed. Autobiography, pp. ;>8o-^cx\ 

<"" McLean s letter in Nile? Register, vol. xli. pp. J5o-.xv>; Weed, 
Autobiography, pp. ^So-^oo. 

07 Weed. Autobiography, p. ,;So : Se\\ard. Autobiography, p. So. 

os Letter to Washington Journal in Baltimore Gazette, September 
-T. iS^i. 

69 Seward. Autobiography, p. oo. 


not find a candidate, to make one." 70 Weed, Tracy and 
Spencer, all from New York, and Phelps from Massachu 
setts, immediately sounded both John Marshall and William 
Wirt. 71 The indications are that they preferred Marshall, 
for a resolution passed the convention Monday evening in 
viting him to attend its deliberations, while the proceedings 
record no such action in Wirt s case. 72 Marshall accepted 
the invitation to be present as a spectator, but evidently 
would not hear to having his name presented for nomina 
tion. Wirt, however, as well as Barbour, Forsyth and Ar 
cher of the Jackson party, among others visited the conven 
tion Tuesday, the second day. 73 It was this diligent search 
for a candidate which led the convention to postpone making 
the nominations from Tuesday until Wednesday. 74 

The labors of the party leaders were more successful with 
Wirt than with Marshall. Tuesday evening a confidential 
letter was received from the former stating his readiness to 
accept the nomination " upon the terms we had avowed." 
What conditions had been named to Wirt as necessary to his 
nomination, is uncertain, but judging from the tenor of his 
public letter of acceptance, they must have been very gen 
eral with little or no stress laid upon an Antimasonic pro 

Seward s account of Wirt s nomination is corroborated by 
Weed 76 and is doubtless correct. Seward says: 

Wirt had been a Mason, and a large party in the convention 
were unwilling to assign him the place of standard-bearer upon a 
conversion which they thought sudden and interested. Others 
were of the opinion that, notwithstanding Judge McLean s declin 
ing, we might safely force the nomination upon him. It was in the 
maintenance of these opinions that I found Thaddeus Stevens . . . 
unreasonable and impracticable. It was assigned to me to combat 
them in private caucus. We debated the subject until midnight 

70 Ibid. 

71 Ibid. :Weed, Autobiography, pp. 390-391. 

72 Proceedings of the Baltimore Antimasonic Convention. 
; Baltimore Gazette, September 28, 1831. 

74 Proceedings of the Baltimore Antimasonic Convention. 

75 Seward, Autobiography, p. 90. 
78 Weed, Autobiography, p. 391. 


and adjourned under an apprehension that the convention would 
explode next day. ... I lodged that night in a room with Mr. 
Stevens. When I awoke in the morning, filled with anxiety which 
last night s debates had left, I was surprised to find that my fellow 
lodger was entirely calm and undisturbed. I remonstrated with 
him against his pertinacious adhesion to Mr. McLean, and so far 
prevailed with him as to obtain an assurance of his acquiescence 
in the nomination of Mr. Wirt, if that should be the choice of the 
convention. 77 

Thanks to the efforts of Weed, Tracy, Spencer and Phelps 
with Wirt, and to those of Seward with Stevens, all was 
harmony when the convention took up the nominations on 
Wednesday. There were no nominating speeches. Phelps 
and Stevens were appointed tellers to receive and count the 
ballots. On the vote for presidential nominee, each delegate 
rose as his name was called and deposited his ballot in an 
open box on the tellers table in the center of the hall. When 
all had voted the number of ballots was checked against the 
number of delegates present and found to correspond. 
Phelps then opened each ballot, read it aloud and passed it 
to Stevens who checked it, the secretaries keeping count 
meanwhile. The results, announced by the president of the 
convention, 78 showed Wirt to have 108 of the in votes 
cast, 27 more than the necessary three-fourths. On 
Stevens motion, Wirt was by acclamation declared unan 
imously nominated much as is done in present-day conven 
tions. Similar action, by ballot followed by acclamation, re 
sulted in the nomination of Amos Ellmaker for vice-presi 
dent. The latter, though not mentioned in the convention s 
earlier proceedings, had been prominent in the Philadelphia 
Convention, and had probably been selected outside of the 
convention. Two committees of three each were then ap 
pointed to notify Wirt and Ellmaker of their respective nom 
inations. 79 

77 Seward, Autobiography, pp. 90-91. 

78 John C. Spencer, a prominent lawyer of New York State, a 
recent convert to the cause of Antimasonry, was president of the 

79 Proceedings of the Baltimore Antimasonic Convention. 


Wirt s letter of acceptance arrived that evening at eight 
o clock. It was at once read before the convention, ordered 
entered on the minutes, and the meeting voted that he be 
recommended to the country for cordial support as the 
Antimasonic candidate. For all this, Wirt s letter must have 
been hard to stomach. He accepted the nomination as a per 
sonal honor from a distinguished body, tendered him for 
personal considerations purely, and not upon Antimasonic 
principles involving a crusade against Masonry. He stated 
that he had once been a Mason, but had never advanced far 
in the order, and had gradually lost interest and dropped 
out, though from no conviction against it ; that he did not be 
lieve the Masonic complicity in the Morgan case to be a char 
acteristic or generally authorized proceeding of the order, 
and ended by saying that if, knowing these sentiments, the 
convention desired to change its nomination, he should re 
tire with even more pleasure than he accepted. From all of 
which it appears that so far from being eager for the nom 
ination, Wirt was entirely indifferent to it save as an honor 
accorded his personal character and attainments, and that if 
elected he proposed to enter upon no prescriptive program 
against Masonry as an institution. 80 

Only one other interesting action was taken. It was the 
adoption of a resolution providing for another convention 
of the party to be held in Washington in September, 1835, to 
consider such subjects as the cause of Antimasonry might 
require no specific mention made of nominations " unless 
the National Antimasonic Committee shall otherwise ad 
vise." 81 Here is the beginning of the present-day practice 
of entrusting to the party s national committee the power of 
issuing the call and settling the time and place for its na 
tional convention. As has been noted, it was applied on a 
state scale by the Antimasons in New York in 1828. The 

80 Ibid. ; Niles Register, vol. xli, pp. 83-85. 

81 Niles Register, ibid., p. 85 ; Baltimore Gazette, September 29, 


Baltimore convention merely followed the state precedent by 
adopting it on a national scale. 

These and other proceedings such as the reappointment of 
the national corresponding committee, with the same per 
sonnel and powers as before, the reading and adoption of the 
platform the address to the people, as it was called were 
not completed until midnight. 82 The convention had pre 
viously fixed this day, Wednesday, the 28th, for adjourn 
ment, hence this first of night sessions in national convention 
practice. 83 

This first application of the nominating convention to na 
tional party politics established permanently this means of 
selecting presidential candidates. No particular credit for 
an innovation accrues to the Antimasons, for the idea had 
been in the country s political atmosphere for eight years 
past. The organization of the convention, its business pro 
cedure, the ratio of delegate representation, the address to 
the people, were all adopted directly from, or else enlarged 
applications of, like practices in the state nominating conven 
tions, dating from that in Pennsylvania which nominated 
Jackson in 1824. In some details this Antimasonic conven 
tion and that at Philadelphia in 1830 seem to have been the 
pioneers. Among their innovations may be named the rules 
committee, the greater stress on delegates credentials, the 
order-of-business committee, the conduct of business by 
means of the committee system, and the unanimous confirma 
tion of the candidate by acclamation after the ballot. 

This convention was a true nominating body, but became 
so more by an unforeseen contingency than by design. It 
assembled with the choice of McLean practically predeter 
mined, and it was only when his eleventh hour refusal threw 
upon the convention the immediate and urgent necessity of 
making a de facto selection that the meeting became, per 
force, a nominating convention in the present-day sense of 
the word. 

82 Seward, Autobiography, p. 208. 

83 Proceedings of the Baltimore Antimasonic Convention. 



Jackson s sweeping victory in November, 1828, left the 
National Republicans temporarily at a standstill concerning 
their future course as a party. Like political parties to 
day they preferred to attribute their defeat to their leader s 
personality rather than to any dislike by the nation as a 
whole for nationalism and the " American System." 
Adams defeat automatically removed him from the leader 
ship, and with one accord the eyes of the party turned to 
Henry Clay as " the Nation s only hope/ * 

For the time being after the election, Clay himself had 
nothing definite to recommend beyond a watchful waiting 
for the new administration to make mistakes, or for a schism 
to develop among its followers. Of this last he was quite 
confident. His letter to Webster of November 30, 1828, 
reveals the situation as follows : 

We are of the majority in regard to measures; we are of the 
minority in respect to the person designated as C. Magistrate. . . . 
I think in regard to the new Administration, we should alike avoid 
professions of support or declarations of opposition, in advance. 
We can only yield the former, if our principles are adopted and 
pursued. ... On the other hand, if we were now to issue a mani 
festo of hostility, we should keep united, by a sense of common 
danger, the discordant Confederates, who have taken the field 
against us. They cannot remain in Corps but from external pres 
sure. The dissensions among them this winter, the formation of 
the new Cabinet, and the Inaugural Speech will enable us to dis 
cover the whole ground of future operations. ... I shall retire to 
Ashland after the 4th of March and there consider . . . my future 
course. 2 

Such was the program for the immediate future and it 
was followed until near the end of the congressional session 

1 The Marylander [Baltimore], November 19, 1828. 

2 Clay to Webster, November 30, 1828, Webster MSS. 



of 1829-1830. Clay s letter reveals incidentally a decided 
underestimation of Jackson s inherent ability as a leader, and 
a still greater failure to comprehend the latter s strength in 
Clay s own West, the chief cause of Adams downfall in 
1828. According to his plan, Clay retired to private life in 
March, 1829, where he remained nominally until his election 
to the Senate in November, 1831. For all his retirement 
during this time, he was careful to keep in the public eye, 
for he spoke frequently at public meetings, dinners and bar 
becues. 3 In January, 1830, he made a trip to New Orleans, 
ostensibly to visit a married daughter, 4 spent about two 
months there and returned up the river in March, being ac 
corded many enthusiastic attentions. 5 

While Clay was thus keeping in public notice, Webster in 
the Senate was watching sharply the administration s course 
with an eye to a suitable campaign issue, or any favorable 
grounds for attack. Jackson s removals from, and ap 
pointments to, office, and the Eaton affair, while suitable for 
campaign ammunition as proof of the administration s in 
competence, were obviously not of sufficient national or con 
stitutional importance to serve as leading campaign issues. 6 
The struggle between the Calhoun and Van Buren groups of 
the Jacksonians, and the impending break between the Pres 
ident and Calhoun, Webster regarded hopefully as portend 
ing a division in the Democratic ranks " that might lead to 
some beneficial results," T particularly should Jackson not 
again be a candidate. As the President s course was then, 
April 6, 1830, uncertain, National Republican tactics for 
the future were compelled in some degree to await further 

3 Clay to Josiah S. Johnston, October 8, 1829, Clay, Correspond 
ence, p. 245. 

4 Niles Register, vol xxxvii, p. 399. 

5 Ibid., vol. xxxvii, p. 429 ; vol. xxxviii, pp. 4, 48, 105. 

6 Webster, Correspondence, vol. i, p. 483. 

7 Clay to J. S. Johnston, April 6, 1830, Clay, Correspondence, p. 


On April 18, five days after the Jefferson anniversary din- 
ner had revealed Jackson and Calhoun at opposites as to 
nullification, Webster wrote Clay his opinion that the Pres 
ident intended to stand for reelection. 8 Some days after 
this letter, Clay wrote to Judge Brooke, his manager in Vir 
ginia, giving the following estimate of the future : 

If Jackson loses either New York, Pennsylvania, or Virginia, he 
will be defeated. If he unites the votes of all three ... he will 
succeed. And I have generally supposed that the degrees of prob 
ability of loss to him of those States were in the order in which I 
have placed them. If I am right he is most certain of Virginia. 
... In New York some progress has been made toward effecting a 
union of the various parties opposed to the present administration 
but the problem is yet to be solved whether such an union can be 
accomplished. . . . The whole case presents one encouraging view. 
Jackson has lost, is losing, and must continue to lose. 9 

Toward the end of the 1829-1830 session of Congress the 
National Republicans made the first definite campaign move. 
The party s policy centered in the " American System," com 
prising protectionist tariff and internal improvements the 
latter chiefly in the form of roads and canals at national 
expense. The high tariff of 1828 had raised a storm of in 
dignation in the South, but as the administration showed no 
signs of revising it downward, the National Republicans 
turned to internal improvements, a subject in which Penn 
sylvania and the whole West were supposed to be greatly 

Internal improvements at national expense, aside from the 
particularistic South, were not unpopular in the country at 
large. Indeed a general system of such improvement had 
been gaining steadily in popularity since Monroe s time. In 
Pennsylvania, the keystone of Jackson s political strength, 
the large Quaker element was already irritated at the admin 
istration s Indian removal policy. Moreover there was in 
the State a large group of local politicians and contractors 

8 Webster to Clay, April 18, 1830, Clay, Correspondence, pp. 259- 

9 Clay to Francis Brooke, April 24, 1830, Clay, Correspondence, 
pp. 263-264. 


whose considerable influence was exerted on public opinion 
in favor of roads and canals. Such improvements would 
also be welcome in the West. 10 Jackson s attitude was not 
definitely known on the subject, as it had not been previously 
made clear, but owing to the Pennsylvania situation and the 
supposed attitude of the West, it was not believed that he 
would dare to act openly and decidedly against projects of 
internal improvements, even if he disapproved of the prin 
ciple which sought to finance them from the federal treas 
ury. 11 

The National Republicans needed an issue upon which to 
launch their campaign, and as the tariff was not immediately 
available they turned to the second part of the "American 
System," internal improvements. Thus the party in Con 
gress gave its attention to several such bills then pending, 
of which the Maysville Road bill was destined to become 
the most prominent. Jackson s first annual message had 
shown a tendency toward strict construction of the federal 
power relating to such measures. 12 The probabilities appear 
to be that the National Republicans hoped to obtain from his 
attitude toward internal improvements a leading issue upon 
which to launch and conduct the coming presidential cam 
paign. 13 

A letter from Webster to Clay at the time the Maysville 
Road bill was in Jackson s hands, but before its return with 
his veto, throws further light upon the situation : 

On the whole, my dear sir, I think a crisis is arriving, or rather 
has arrived. . . . Parties, must now, necessarily, be started out anew ; 
and the great ground of difference will be the Tariff and Internal 
Improvements. You are necessarily at the head of one party, and 
General Jackson will be, if he is not already, identified with the 
other. The question will be put to the country. Let the country 
decide it. 1 * 

10 Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 305, 309. 
Ibid., pp. 313-315, 320, 325. 

12 Richardson, Messages and Papers, vol. ii, pp. 451-453. 

13 Webster to Clay, May 23, 1830, Clay, Correspondence, pp. 

i* Ibid. 


A fortnight earlier, while the Maysville bill was still in the 
House of Representatives, Clay had written to his friend, 
Josiah S. Johnston, Senator from Louisiana, expressing 
hopes that the Senate would pass it, and that New England 
Senators especially would support it. " We shall then," he 
wrote, "be able practically to know who are our real 
friends." 15 

The letter of Webster just mentioned also throws light upon 
the plan for opening the campaign. " I think," he wrote 
Clay, "you cannot be kept back from the contest. The 
people will bring you out, nolens volens. Let them do it." 
After advising Clay to abstain, for political effect, from 
visiting the North at this time, the writer continued, " You 
will hear from the North, every town and village in it, on 
the 4th of July." 

On May 27, 1830, Jackson returned the Maysville bill to 
the House of Representatives with his veto, 16 noting the fol 
lowing objections : (i) The construction of internal improve 
ments by federal authority was unconstitutional; (2) Appro 
priations of money by the national government to aid works 
of internal improvement must be limited solely to works of 
a national, as opposed to a local, or state character, in order 
to be constitutional; (3) The present bill, it pointed out, ap 
propriated money to aid a road purely local in character; 
(4) It was inexpedient to make any extensive appropria 
tions, even for similar works which were national in char 
acter until the public debt should be paid and the Constitu 
tion amended to define the national power to that effect. 17 

Jackson and Van Buren had been watching closely the in 
ternal improvement sentiment both in and outside of Con 
gress. By the end of April, 1830, Jackson was definitely 
resolved upon administering a decisive check to this senti 
ment and to this end had instructed Van Buren to watch 
such internal improvement bills as were pending in Congress 

15 Clay to Johnston, May 9, 1830, ibid., p. 267. 

lfl Niles Register, vol. xxxviii, p. 271. 

17 Richardson, Messages and Papers, vol. ii, pp. .$3-493. 


in order to select the one whose veto would affect the small 
est number of voters. 18 The bill authorizing an appropria 
tion for the purchase of stock in the " Maysville . . . Turn 
pike Road Company" was the one Van Buren selected. 
The road in question was wholly within Kentucky, and 
therefore local in character, and had the added incentive of 
being in Clay s State. Indeed Jackson, who had doubtless 
been observing the enemy closely, was of the opinion that 
Clay and his party were pushing forward this particular 
measure primarily for political effect, and hence was the 
more ready to accept such a challenge. 19 

The National Republicans immediately seized upon this as 
a campaign issue. The veto was attacked savagely in the 
House by Stanberry, Vance and Kennon, all from Ohio, and 
was warmly defended by Barbour of Virginia and by Polk 
and Bell of Tennessee. 20 The attacks were mainly of a de 
nunciatory character, paying but little attention to the consti 
tutional objections urged in the veto. Characteristic of these 
denunciations was Stanberry s statement that the veto repre 
sented the views of the President s ministry rather than those 
of the executive himself, because the hand of the "great 
magician " was visible in every line of the message. 21 

The Maysville veto coming on the heels of the rising dis 
content among Calhoun s friends, was promptly utilized by 
the National Republicans for campaign purposes, as they 
hoped to annex such elements of the Jacksonians as would 
not follow the President s lead on the subject of internal 
improvements. Indeed, there was ground for hope, as the 
vote in the House of Representatives had been 97 to 90 in 
favor of passing the bill over the President s veto, 22 and 

18 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 320. 

19 Ibid., pp. 320-325 ; cf. Niles Register, vol. xxxviii, p. 218. 

20 Niles Register, vol. xxxviii, pp. 281, 309-315. 

21 Ibid., p. 309 ; Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 329. 

22 Clay to Webster, June 7, 1830, Webster, Correspondence, vol. i, 
pp. 504-505; Niles Register, vol. xxxviii, p. 281. 


many of Jackson s party managers feared its effects upon 
his popularity and their party. 23 

As soon as the veto was known the National Republican 
press began thundering against it. 24 According to Clay s 
plan 25 his friends in Kentucky took advantage of the feeling 
aroused in the State by the veto, 26 and held a large public 
meeting at Lexington on June 21, at which the President s 
course was roundly denounced, and a constitutional amend 
ment recommended to curb the executive veto by enabling a 
majority vote to over- ride it. 27 On July 4, according to 
schedule, 28 the campaign designed to elect Clay president 
was simultaneously launched in the North and West, while 
at Washington a large meeting of Clay s friends was held 
for the same purpose. 29 In all the meetings, banquets and 
toasts devoted to this end, endorsement of Clay and internal 
improvements and denunciation of the veto figured prom 
inently. 30 Referring to National Republican tactics at this 
time, Ingham wrote to Jackson who was then at the Her 
mitage from Washington, " The opposition are certainly 
preparing for a more violent contest than even the last. 
Their pens are dipped in Gall, and no effort will be left 
untried to carry the war as Mr. Clay says into every ham 
let/ " 31 

Following up this beginning, Clay, during the latter part 
of July, addressed a public meeting at Columbus, Ohio, and 
again, on August 3, delivered a long speech at Cincinnati. 
In this latter, after carefully side-stepping a request for his 
views as to rechartering the United States Bank, he extolled 

23 Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 324-325. 

24 Miles Register, vol. xxxviii, p. 269. 

25 Clay to Webster, June 7, 1830, Webster, Correspondence, vol. 
i, pp. 504-505. 

8 Niles Register, vol. xxxviii, p. 366. 

27 Ibid., pp. 337, 406-412. 

28 Webster to Clay, May 23, 1830, Clay, Correspondence, pp. 

29 Niles, Register, vol. xxxviii, p. 365. 
so Ibid. 

31 Ingham to Jackson, July 25, 1830, Jackson MSS. 


the " American System," especially its internal improvement 
side, and then assailed the Maysville veto, chiefly on the 
ground that it was inconsistent with Jackson s previous votes 
in Congress and had proceeded from an irresponsible cab 
inet s control of the President. 32 He followed these speeches 
with a short tour through Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, 
partly, no doubt, for effect upon the approaching fall elec 
tions. 33 

On the same day as his Cincinnati speech, in Delaware 34 
Clay was nominated for president by "a convention of the 
national republicans of this state." This was followed in 
September by a like action in Connecticut, 35 and on Decem 
ber 9. 1830, he was nominated by a large convention in his 
own State. 36 With the campaign thus launched, it remained 
to keep it moving, to keep up interest, and to organize the 
party for more general efforts. 

On December 13, the National Republicans of New York 
City held a meeting some 2,500 strong, and, after endorsing 
the various nominations of Clay, provided for the holding of 
local ward meetings of the party all over the city. These 
local meetings were to establish ward committees as a means 
of stirring up party interest, and were to designate five mem 
bers each as a part of a general committee " to superintend 
the concerns of the national republican party of this city." 8T 
The general committee thus established was about seventy 
strong. With William H. Ireland as chairman, it soon un 
dertook in addition to its local objects the effective organiza 
tion of the party throughout the State. 38 

It was general knowledge that the Antimasons had plans 
laid for their nominating convention in Baltimore in Sep- 

32 Niles Register, vol. xxxviii, p. 417; vol. xxxix, pp. 25-32. 

33 Ibid., vol. xxxviii, p. 477. 

34 Ibid., vol. xxxviii, p. 432. 

35 Ibid., vol. xxxix, p. 94. 
38 Ibid., pp. 90, 302. 

37 New York American, December 14, 1830, in Niles Register, 
vol. xxxix, p. 303. 

38 National Intelligencer, January 4, February 17, 1831. 


tember, 1831. This means for choosing a candidate seems 
to have been spontaneously adopted by the National Re 
publicans in several States during February, 1831. There 
was this difference, however, the Antimasons in projecting 
their nominating convention actually did intend it as a means 
of choosing a candidate from among several possibilities, 
while the National Republicans were not seriously consider 
ing any candidate but Clay. Hence the party s move for a 
nominating convention was purely for propagandic purposes, 
to stir up further enthusiasm for Clay whose nomination, by 
any convention that might be planned, was a foregone con 
clusion from the outset. 

The first move for such a convention came from the above- 
mentioned general committee of New York City. In the 
process of working out an effective party organization in the 
State, it recommended on February 9, 1831, that a state con 
vention be held at Albany in June to endorse and support 
Clay " and that the National Convention be held at Phil 
adelphia the first Wednesday in September next." 39 The 
obvious purpose for the choice of this particular time was to 
forestall and influence the Antimasons who had considered 
Clay, and whose nominating convention was scheduled for 
Baltimore on the third Monday in September. 

The party s central organ, the National Intelligencer, found 
the convention suggestion good, but advised that it be held 
later in the year so as to be able to act according to the latest 
political developments, and also recommended that it should 
be held nearer to Washington, at Baltimore for example, for 
the convenience of the members of Congress who might be 
delegates. The Intelligencer professed its entire willingness 
that these points be determined by the party state conven 
tions. 40 These two points were speedily settled almost si 
multaneously by Maryland, Connecticut and Maine. In 
Maryland a legislative caucus of National Republicans met 

39 Ibid., February 17, 1831. 

40 Ibid. 


February 17, and recommended that each congressional dis 
trict in the state elect a delegate " to meet in general conven 
tion at Baltimore, on the second Monday in December next." 
The meeting then appointed two delegates at large and fur 
ther extended invitation to " our brethren of other states who 
. . . deprecate the reelection of Andrew Jackson," to do like 
wise " by delegates equal in number to the electors of presi 
dent to which their states are entitled in order to present as 
candidates for the presidency and vice-presidency, statesmen 
the best established in public confidence." 41 The National 
Intelligencer found this quite satisfactory and stated that it 
met with the approval of the party leaders in Washington. 42 

Before this news had time to reach New England a state 
convention in Connecticut also recommended that the con 
vention "be held in Baltimore in December next," without 
naming the day, but prescribed the States respective electoral 
strength as the basis for regulating the size of delegations ; 43 
similar action was taken by a legislative caucus in Maine. 44 
The matter was finally settled by the endorsement of the 
Maryland proposal by a great National Republican meeting, 
800 strong, which met in Philadelphia, April 4, with John 
Sergeant presiding. 45 

All this activity was the more necessary since the fall elec 
tions in 1830 had made little change in the party situation, 
neither Clay nor Jackson being either greatly weakened or 
greatly strengthened thereby. The fears and doubts of some 
of Jackson s subordinates as to the effect of the Maysville 
veto on the country, had not been realized. The main hope 
of the National Republicans for favorable results from the 
veto had been based on its expected effects in New York, 
Pennsylvania and the West. In this they were considerably 

41 Annapolis Republican, February 19, 1831, in Niles Register, 
vol. xl, pp. 28-29. 

42 National Intelligencer, February 24, 1831. 

43 Ibid., March 7, 1831. 

44 Ibid. 

45 Niles Register, vol. xl, pp. 127-128. 


disappointed. New York and Pennsylvania were building 
their own roads and canals and this fact went far to neutral 
ize the effect of the veto; indeed, Jackson had been per 
ceptibly strengthened by it in New York. 48 In the West, 
generally speaking, the effects of the veto on Ohio and Ken 
tucky were favorable to the National Republicans, but did 
not give either state wholly to them. 47 Outside these two 
States the veto s effects on the West were beneficial to Jack 
son rather than otherwise. On his summer trip to the Her 
mitage, he wrote as the result of his observations, that it 
worked well, and " has become what my enemies neither 
wished nor expected, very popular. I have no doubt but it 
will be sustained by a large majority of the people." 48 

Jackson s intuitive ability to sense the feeling of the masses 
toward his leading measures was the secret of his strength 
as party leader and was the despair of the opposition. The 
President s standing in the country at large was summed up 
by Felix Grundy, apparently after making a tour of the 
country. Speaking with direct reference to the veto, he said : 

I find that in New Hampshire and Maine the strength of the 
administration is increased by it ... has done no harm in Pennsyl 
vania . . . has given strength in New York . . . results in Ohio 
& Kentucky indeterminate. . . . The result of the matter in my mind 
is, that altho your friends may not be numerically increased, their 
attachment is now of a stronger texture formerly it consisted in 
a degree in an affection for the man and an admiration of his 
character & public services and confidence in his virtues Now is 
added an adherence to political and republican principles; the 
former are very good recommendations to get a man into office, 
and the latter the safest chance for him when in. 49 

In February, 1831, the publication of the break between 
Jackson and Calhoun, and the disruption of the cabinet which 
followed in April, improved temporarily the prospects of the 
National Republicans, particularly in Pennsylvania, 50 and this 

46 J. A. Hamilton to Jackson, June 27, 1830, Jackson MSS.; Van 
Buren to Jackson, July 25, 1830, Van Buren MSS. 

47 Moses Dawson to Jackson, July 5, 1830, Grundy to Jackson, 
July 31, 1830, Jackson MSS. 

48 Jackson to Van Buren, June 26, July 12, 1830, Van Buren MSS. 

49 Grundy to Jackson, July 31, 1830, Jackson MSS. 

50 Richards to McLean, June 24, 1831, McLean MSS. 


naturally aroused their hopes of adding to their party the 
disgruntled Calhoun partizans in addition to the fragments 
shorn from the Democrats by the Maysville veto. Although 
Van Buren s resignation from the cabinet mystified them 51 
and deprived them temporarily of one of their favorite ob 
jects of attack, this did not prevent them from making every 
effort to exploit the unprecedented cabinet change to their 
advantage and to make the most of the fierce newspaper 
recriminations during the ensuing summer between the ad 
ministration supporters and the ejected secretaries. 52 

Between April and November, 1831, eighteen States and 
the District of Columbia elected delegates to the convention 
in December. 53 The specified quota per State was, as it had 
been with the Antimasons, and as the party legislative cau 
cuses had recommended, equal to its electoral college strength. 
As far as can be ascertained the delegates were chosen on 
this basis either by state convention, as in New York and 
Ohio, 54 by state legislative caucus, as in Massachusetts and 
New Hampshire, 55 or by leaving the choice entirely to the 
individual congressional district with the two delegates at 
large appointed by caucus, as in Virginia, Maryland, Penn 
sylvania and Maine. 56 Of the eighteen States that chose dele 
gates only Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Dela 
ware, Maryland, Virginia and Kentucky were represented 
by their full quota of delegates. Of the other States, New 
York, Pennsylvania and Ohio were represented by 17, 23 
and 1 8 delegates respectively. Of four others, North Caro 
lina, Tennessee, Louisiana and Indiana, none had more than 
three delegates present. Apparently it was not thought 
worth while to instruct any of the delegations, since the only 
name in the party s collective mind was that of Clay, hence, 
as noted before, his nomination was a foregone conclusion 

51 Niles Register, vol. xl, pp. 129, 165. 

52 Ibid., pp. 318, 372-389, passim. 

53 Ibid., vol. xli, pp. 306-307. 

54 Ibid., vol. xl, pp. 254, 279, 401. 

55 Ibid., pp. 293, 353. 

56 Ibid., pp. 28-29, H3, 127, 128; vol. xli, p. 259. 


and this convention was mainly for the purpose of stimulat 
ing enthusiasm for the party and its candidate. 

There was need of such stimulation. The reorganization 
of Jackson s cabinet in the summer of 1831 had eliminated 
the Eaton scandal as a ground of attack, and the group of 
able and intelligent gentlemen whom Jackson summoned to 
the new cabinet had decidedly strengthened the administra 
tion in the country at large. 57 Furthermore the Maysville 
veto had not reacted nearly as much to Jackson s disad 
vantage as the National Republicans had anticipated. A 
letter from William Carroll, governor of Tennessee, to 
Nicholas Biddle at this time, referring to Jackson s strength 
in the West stated, " his popularity remains much as it was 
in most of the Western country." 58 Moreover, Clay had 
refused from motives of " principle and policy " to make any 
statement or declaration which would conciliate the Anti- 
masons, 59 and in September they entered the field as a na 
tional party behind Wirt, thus dividing the potential opposi 
tion to Jackson. Another ground for pessimism was the 
fact that in spite of the efforts of the managers in New 
York, the National Republican party was so weak that the 
fall elections of 1831 were almost wholly a Democratic- Anti- 
masonic contest. 60 In addition to all this Clay had allowed 
his state legislature to elect him to the Senate in November, 61 
a move the wisdom of which, with the campaign so far ad 
vanced, was doubtful. It looked as if he thought that a 
bird in the hand was worth two in the bush. On the whole 
the prospect for a successful campaign in 1832 was not at 
all good. 

Clay himself was well aware of this unpromising outlook. 
He wrote his Virginia manager, Judge Brooke, on December 
9, 1831, "The impression is that the Baltimore convention 

57 James Buchanan, Works (J. B. Moore, Ed.), vol. ii, pp. 177-178. 

58 Carroll to Biddle, June 29, 1831, Biddle MSS. 

59 Clay to Brooke, July 18, 1831, Clay, Correspondence, p. 306. 
ao Niles Register, vol. xli, p. 237. 

6i Ibid. 


will make a nomination of me. I wish I could add that 
the impression was more favorable than it is of the success 
of such a nomination. Something, however, may turn up 
(and that must be our encouraging hope) to give a brighter 
aspect to our affairs." 62 Within a month after the date of 
this letter, something which will be noticed in a subsequent 
chapter, did " turn up " the Bank of the United States. 

The National Republican delegates to Baltimore convened 
at the Athenaeum on Monday, December 12, 1831, with only 
135 present, 63 owing to the state of weather and roads. For 
this reason the principal action on this day was to elect 
Abner Lacock of Pennsylvania, a former Crawford man who 
was opposed to Jackson, chairman pro tempore and to adopt 
a resolution inviting all newspaper editors and reporters to 
seats set apart for them. The meeting then adjourned till 
the next day. 64 

Another resolution had provided for the examination of 
the delegates credentials by each delegation for itself, and, 
having done so, each was then to report a list of its personnel 
to the secretary of the convention on Tuesday. The Tues 
day session, therefore, began with a roll call by States which 
showed 156 members present from seventeen States. John 
Holmes, delegate and Senator from Maine, then moved that 
a committee of five be appointed to recommend permanent 
officers and to " report what further proceedings they might 
deem necessary." This marks the introduction into our 
convention practice of the Committee on Permanent Organ- 

62 Clay to Brooke, December 9, 1830, Clay, Correspondence, p. 321. 

63 The total number of delegates attending the convention was 
168, from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode 
Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Dela 
ware, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky. 
Ohio, Indiana, Louisiana and the District of Columbia; cf. Journal 
of the National Republican Convention, in History Pamphlets, vol. 
293, Johns Hopkins University Library. 

64 Niles Register, vol. xli, p. 301. Niles Register contains a full 
account of the convention s proceedings. Hezekiah Niles was pres 
ent in person during the convention s deliberations. See also Jour 
nal of the National Republican Convention. 


ization, wherein this convention was followed by the Demo 
crats five months later. The duty to suggest other matters 
for the convention s consideration was a charge like that of 
the Antimasonic committee on subjects and order of busi 
ness. On this, the most important committee in the National 
Republican convention, were appointed none but party lead 
ers; namely, Holmes of Maine, John Sergeant of Pennsyl 
vania, Henry A. S. Dearborn of Massachusetts, James 
Thomas of Maryland, and James W. Denny of Kentucky. 
After a brief interval this committee recommended for per 
manent president James Barbour of Virginia, a former col 
league of Clay in Adams cabinet, four vice-presidents and 
two secretaries. 63 

Barbour was then installed and delivered a short speech 
more nearly " keynote " in character than that in either of 
the other party conventions. 66 After invitations had been 
extended to Charles Carroll and other distinguished Balti- 
moreans to sit within the bar of the convention, Holmes of 
the organization and order-of-business committee recom 
mended that the convention " do now proceed to nominate a 
candidate for . . . president to be supported by those who 
are opposed to the reelection of Andrew Jackson." This 
was adopted and here Barbour laid before the house a letter 
he had received a day or two earlier from Clay, with the 
latter s request that it be laid before the convention should 
his name be brought up as candidate. It was an earnest 
plea from Clay to the convention to dismiss all thoughts of 
himself and to weigh with him every man available for 
nomination solely on the basis of fitness for such a position. 
Clay s motive in this move is not clear; it may have been a 
sincere desire to stand in the way of no one who might be 
deemed more capable of combining back of one man all the 
elements opposed to Jackson, possibly John McLean; or it 
may have been designed to dispel the general impression that 

15 Miles Register, vol.. xli, p. 301. 

66 Cf. Niles Register, vol. xli, p. 302, with Antimasonic Conven 
tion Proceedings and The Globe of May 23, 1832. 


the convention had assembled merely to stimulate interest 
in his campaign and to nominate him. 67 Of these two mo 
tives the latter seems to me the more probable. 

Peter R. Livingston, a recent convert from the New York 
Democrats, now rose and made the first nominating speech 
in national convention history. Unfortunately, it is not re 
ported ; the fullest record merely says " Mr. Livingston . . . 
rose, and, after some pertinent and eloquent remarks, nom 
inated Henry Clay, which was received with loud and re 
iterated applause." 68 On Dearborn s suggestion that con 
vention then adopted what was destined to be the forerunner 
of the modern practice of voting. The method of choosing 
nominees in both of the other two conventions had been by 
secret ballot ; here it was by roll call, each delegate rising as 
called and orally naming the man of his choice. It differed 
from the present-day method, however, in being a roll call 
of individual delegates, instead of state delegations. This 
resulted in every member present voting for Clay, except 
one delegate who had no preference and was excused from 
voting. 69 In accordance with the precedent established by 
the Antimasons, Clay was then unanimously nominated by 
acclamation. The chair was authorized to appoint a com 
mittee of seven to draft the customary address to the nation 
and of this body Alexander H. Everett was chairman. 

Another convention precedent was established when each 
delegation was authorized to name one member of a notifica 
tion committee which should apprise Clay of his nomination. 
The method of doing this was left to the committee s discre 
tion, so they addressed him a letter and delegated a sub- 

6T Cf. Clay s letter, Niles Register, vol. xli, p. 302, with his ac 
ceptance in ibid., p. 304. See also Andrew Stewart to McLean, 
November 24, 1831, McLean MSS.; Clay to Brooke, December g, 
1831, Clay, Correspondence, p. 321 ; Jackson to Van Buren, De 
cember 17, 1831, Van Buren MSS.; The Globe, December 15, 1831, 
excerpt from [Philadelphia] National Gazette. 

68 Niles Register, vol. xli, p. 302. 

69 Ibid., pp. 300-303 ; Journal of the National Republican Conven 


committee of five to set out for Washington with it at once. 
The convention then adjourned until the next day. 70 

The delegates, and the party as well, had heretofore ap 
parently been so intent on nominating Clay for president that 
no one seems to have given any thought as to who should 
be second on the ticket, and there was no consensus of opin 
ion in favor of anyone, 71 hence no nomination for vice-pres 
ident was attempted immediately after the choice of Clay. 
The selection must have been made in caucus or consultation 
outside the convention, but there is no definite information 
as to this. 

On Wednesday, after some minor business such as seat 
ing a few late-arriving delegates, the notification committee 
read Clay s brief letter of acceptance, which was received 
with great applause. A motion was then adopted to proceed 
with the vice-presidential nominations, and Boyd McNairy, 
the sole delegate from Tennessee, placed John Sergeant of 
Pennsylvania in nomination, but without making a speech. 
At this juncture Walter Jones of the District of Columbia 
delegation arose and made the first speech in national con 
vention history seconding a nomination. There were no 
more nominations, and by the same method as had been used 
the day before Sergeant was unanimously nominated, and a 
committee of five was appointed by the chairman to notify 
him. The convention then appointed a finance committee 
to meet printing and incidental expenses, and another to wait 
on Carroll, who was unable to accept the invitation to visit 
the meeting, and ascertain a time when the convention could 
call on him in a body. Adjournment until next day then 
followed. 72 

On Thursday the convention provided for the further con 
duct of the campaign by recommending to the party in each 

70 Journal of the National Republican Convention; Niles Reg 
ister, vol. xli, p. 303. 

71 Niles Register, vol. xli, pp. 304-305; Globe, December 15, 1831, 
excerpt from [Philadelphia] National Gazette. 

72 Niles Register, vol. xli, p. 304; Journal of the National Re 
publican Convention. 


State to form a central corresponding committee, and to 
organize local committees in every county and town. It 
was nearly eleven months before the election would take 
place, too long an interval to pass without some further large 
demonstration by the party, hence it was felt necessary to 
stir up enthusiasm by another convention. Therefore a 
resolution was adopted recommending to the young men of 
the party to hold a national convention in Washington the 
first Monday in May, 1832. The committee s written notifi 
cation to Sergeant and his acceptance were then read. After 
this the meeting took a recess until afternoon, when it re 
assembled at four o clock and marched in a body to pay its 
respects to Charles Carroll. 78 

Friday, December 16, was the closing day. Its chief busi 
ness was the reading and adoption of the address to the 
people. This document in substance was more nearly akin 
to the platform of to-day than that adopted by the Antima- 
sons. The latter had been more of a diatribe against the 
evils of Masonry than a statement of remedial measures for 
those evils, and contained next to nothing in the way of a 
constructive governmental policy. The National Republican 
address was mainly a criticism of Jackson s administration 
as contrasted with that of Adams, and a condemnation of 
its policy as to removals from office, the Indians, internal 
improvemments, and the Bank. It recommended as the pan 
acea for all these ills, the election of Clay and Sergeant. 74 

There followed a resolution to print 10,000 copies of this 
address, and another urging the delegates " to promote among 
their constituents a zealous support of the principles of the 
national republican party and of the candidates named by 
this convention." 75 Next came the usual votes of thanks 
to committees and officers, and, after an address by Barbour, 
the convention adjourned, sine die. 76 

73 N iles Register, vol. xli, pp. 305-306. 

74 Ibid., pp. 306-312. 
7 * Ibid., p. 306. 

76 Ibid., p. 306 ; Journal of the National Republican Convention. 


The National Republican convention was not a nominating 
body in as genuine a sense as was either the Antitnasonic or 
the Democratic convention. Its choice of a candidate was 
so certain before the convention was planned, that its nom 
ination of Clay was more the act of a ratifying than that of 
a truly nominating body. At the same time there are cer 
tain points in convention practice for which this meeting of 
National Republicans deserves the credit above either of the 
other two conventions. Briefly stated they are: its nearer 
approach to a true key-note speech from its permanent 
chairman ; the first nominating speech and the first seconding 
speech; the introduction of the oral vote by roll call; the 
present day form of the notification committee; and the 
greater party enthusiasm manifested in its proceedings. 



Jackson had not been elected in 1828 by a definite political 
party, for that term implies a political group with definite 
constitutional principles and party organization. The fol 
lowing which had elected him had been, as a whole, united 
in but one purpose to elect him president over Adams. 
Broadly speaking, his election was accomplished by his per 
sonal popularity, reinforced by the remnant of the old Re 
publican party led by Van Buren, to which was joined the 
personal following of Calhoun. Each of these groups or 
factions, collectively known as "the friends of Jackson," 
had supported him from a different motive and expected a 
different result from the joint success. They may for con 
venience be styled the Western group, the Calhoun group, 
and the Crawford group. 

The Western group, whose type he was, comprised the 
backbone of Jackson s strength. It embraced the bulk of 
the country s democracy, with most of its numbers west of 
the Alleghenies, in Pennsylvania, in western Virginia and 
North Carolina. Jackson was its idol and it was firmly con 
vinced of his entire integrity in all things. 1 He knew these 
people thoroughly, understood better than any man of his 
time their likes and dislikes, and fully realized that most of 
his strength lay with them. 2 This group had enthusias 
tically supported him against what they regarded as a cor 
rupt and unprincipled aristocracy 3 and confidently expected 
his election to introduce an era of reform and of government 

1 James Buchanan to McLean, June n, 1829, McLean MSS. 

2 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 253. 

3 W. B. Lewis to J. A. Hamilton, December 12, 1828, Van Buren 



by the people, 4 however vague their ideas may have been as 
to the meaning of the latter phrase. In one respect this 
Western group was inferior to either of the other two. 
While it had many upright men like Hugh L. White, and 
many local politicians of some ability like Lewis and Ken 
dall, of political leaders with a national reputation for acu 
men, education, and social standing, there was not one com 
parable to many in Calhoun s train. 

The Calhoun group embraced the bulk of the party s aris 
tocratic, educated and socially prominent men of national 
reputation, both in Congress and in politics. Numerically 
it was the smallest of the three groups ; in the weight of its 
leaders influence in the party it was the strongest. It num 
bered among these leaders Calhoun himself, James Hamil 
ton, Jr., Robert Y. Hayne, George M. Dallas, Samuel D. 
Ingham, John Branch and John McP. Berrien. It was the 
dominant political force in South Carolina, with considerable 
strength in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and Penn 
sylvania. The culture, standing, and constitutional doc 
trines of its leaders likewise appealed strongly to Virginia. 
Led by Calhoun, it had supported Jackson mainly for the 
advantage which, through its leader, it expected to derive 
from such support. 5 As the campaign had progressed and 
opposition to the tariff had grown stronger, the rank and file 
of the faction, especially in South Carolina, became more 
and more actuated by dislike of Adams nationalism and by 
the hope that Jackson s indefinite views on tariff and in 
ternal improvements would develop in favor of their par 

This strict construction sentiment and consequent dislike 
of Adams had been the factor which had enabled Van Buren 
to reestablish the Virginia-New York Alliance and to swing 
those States into the Jackson column. The bulk of the 

4 Jackson to Van Buren, March 31, 1829, Jackson MSS.; Benton, 
Thirty Years View, vol. i, p. in. 
6 Adams, Memoirs, vol. viii, pp. 506-507. 


Crawford group was essentially strict constructionist in its 
principles and had made a choice between what it regarded 
as the lesser of two evils in supporting Jackson. It looked 
to Van Buren as its political leader, and it was his leadership, 
backed by Regency and Junto, which had insured success. 
It expected therefore of Jackson a cabinet of able men and 
a policy for which strict construction would be the basis. 
It outnumbered the Calhoun group, being in control of New 
York, Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina, but Van Buren 
aside, could not compare with the Calhoun group in number 
of nationally prominent political leaders. 

On account of Van Buren s substantial contribution to 
Jackson s success, the consensus of opinion in both the 
Western and Crawford groups of Jacksonians had been for 
six months before the election that to him was due the chief 
position in the new cabinet, and that he would receive it. 6 
That Calhoun had supported Jackson, with the expectation 
of succeeding him as president, there is no doubt. 7 Further 
more, Jackson s advocacy of one-term presidential tenure 8 
would naturally confirm Calhoun in the belief that the Pres 
ident would retire at the end of four years. In addition, 
Jackson s frail health in 1829 made it doubtful if he would 
survive four years, 9 far less undergo the turmoil of another 
campaign. For these reasons as well as for the important 
part the leaders of his group had played in supporting Jack 
son, Calhoun expected not only to be the heir apparent, but 
also to have several of his friends in the cabinet. 10 Accord 
ing to Benton and Van Buren, 11 Jackson regarded Calhoun at 
this time with favor as his successor. 

It was these cabinet selections which gave rise to the first 
traces of the intra-party contest for the succession. The 

Hammond, vol. ii, pp. 282-283 ; Ritchie to Van Buren, March 
n, 1828, January 31, 1829; Lewis to Van Buren, December 12, 1828, 
Van Buren MSS.; Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 224, 229-231. 

7 Cf. Adams, Memoirs, vol. vi, pp. 506-507. 

8 Niles Register, vol. xxix, p. 157. 

9 M. T. Simpson to McLean, March I, 1829, McLean MSS. 

10 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 341. 

11 Ibid., p. 410. 


Western group of leaders felt that they had formed the basis 
of Jackson s success and were distinctly averse to seeing the 
Calhoun leaders compose the majority of the cabinet. More 
over, they had been closely in touch with Van Buren during 
the campaign; hence it was but natural that they should 
welcome the New Yorker as Secretary of State and as a 
possible ally. From the first of December, 1828, to the end 
of February, 1829, Washington was the scene of a prelim 
inary skirmish between Calhoun partizans on the one hand 
and the Western group, aided by Van Buren s friends, on 
the other, over the cabinet personnel. Calhoun and Van 
Buren were not in the city during this time, but their re 
spective friends were most active. Duff Green was openly 
referring to his patron, Calhoun, as the party s next candi 
date for president, and intimations and rumors were set on 
foot by others to discourage Van Buren from accepting the 
State Department. 12 The Western group of Jacksonians, 
led by White, Eaton, Moore and Bradley, espoused Van 
Buren s cause, and he was represented by his friends James 
A. Hamilton and G. C. Verplanck. Their efforts were 
mainly directed toward counteracting rumors and reports 
hostile to Van Buren. This marks the beginning of the 
struggle for supremacy and the succession within the Demo 
cratic party between the Calhoun group on the one side and 
the Van Buren on the other, the latter including Jackson s 
Western following. 

Jackson himself settled the cabinet question and to no 
one s liking but his own. 13 To Van Buren went the chief 
place. Jackson, bent on having one personal friend in the 
cabinet, gave the War Department to John H. Eaton, and 
eventually made another Westerner, William T. Barry, Post- 
Master General. Calhoun s friend, Samuel D. Ingham of 
Pennsylvania, received the Treasury Department, another 

12 Gulian C. Verplanck to Van Buren, December 6, 1828, De 
cember 30, 1828, Van Buren MSS. 

13 J. A. Hamilton, Reminiscences, pp. 80-101. 


friend, John Branch of North Carolina, the N.avy Depart 
ment, and still another, John M. Berrien of Georgia, the 
Legal Department. 14 The one point upon which this cab 
inet could agree was aversion to Clay; there was no other 
harmonizing factor; and there was a distinct coolness be 
tween Van Buren and Berrien from the outset. 15 All the 
elements for a contest for supremacy were present; Van 
Buren, Eaton and Barry against the three Calhoun men, 
with Jackson s sympathy inclined toward the former. But 
it was Jackson s choice and nothing would induce him to 
change it. It was his first positive assertion of himself as 
the de facto head of the party. 

Jackson seems to have been ignorant of, or else to have 
deliberately ignored, the possibilities of antagonism between 
these two cabinet groups. Unless harmony could be speedily 
developed between the two factions, an open break between 
their respective leaders, Calhoun and Van Buren, would be 
merely a matter of time. The President of course would be 
the determining factor. To the side he favored would go 
the prize, the support of his tremendous popularity and in 
fluence in the West exerted in behalf of his chosen successor. 

Another factor, at first unnoticed, but destined to figure 
prominently in determining the outcome of the Calhoun- 
Van Buren contest, was the " Kitchen n or " Back-stairs 
Cabinet." All his past life Jackson had acted on his own 
judgment and responsibility in cardinal matters. As a gen 
eral he had called few military councils. As President he 
seldom called cabinet meetings. 16 His opinion once formed 
was unshakable, but he did not usually resort to snap judg 
ment. When he wanted advice he preferred to discuss the 
matter in hand with friends. There were several of these 
outside the official cabinet, in particular William B. Lewis, 

14 J. A. Hamilton to Van Buren, February 21, 27, March 6, 1829, 
Van Buren MSS. 

15 Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 213-216. 

16 Niles Register, vol. xxxvi, p. 317; Adams, Memoirs, vol. viii, 
P. 477- 


his close friend for years, Amos Kendall, a Kentucky editor 
who had worked hard for him, Isaac Hill who had done like 
wise in New Hampshire, and Duff Green, editor of the Tele 
graph. Of these, Lewis was a member of his household 
and, like Kendall and Hill, was appointed to a position in the 
Treasury. These several friends, together with Eaton and 
Van Buren, were privileged to call upon him at almost any 
hour of day or night. This group was known as the 
"Kitchen Cabinet," and Jackson advised with its members 
much more than he did with the heads of the departments. 
A fact significant for Calhoun s future was that, excepting 
Duff Green whose membership was short, he had not a single 
warm friend in this body, and moreover its whole personnel 
was drawn from the most democratic and mainly from the 
western wing of the party. It would, therefore, from the 
outset, favor Van Buren against Calhoun and work against 
the latter and his friends. 

Three months before Jackson s inauguration another force 
came into being which was to play a prominent part in pro 
moting hostilities between the Van Buren and Calhoun 
groups Mrs. Eaton. The daughter of a Washington tav 
ern-keeper, physically attractive, of dubious reputation and 
little culture, she had married a dissolute navy purser, Tim- 
berlake by name, who later committed suicide. Common 
report linked her name with Eaton s in a manner not wholly 
creditable, even after her marriage to Timberlake. With 
Jackson s approval Eaton married this woman January I, 

As soon as it was known that Eaton would be in the cab 
inet, an outcry arose from social Washington at the prospect 
of associating with his wife. Mrs. Calhoun was among the 
foremost in Washington society and Mesdames Ingham, 
Branch and Berrien were likewise prominent. On the other 
hand Jackson and Van Buren were widowers, and Barry 
sided with them. Mrs. Calhoun and the other social leaders 

17 Cambreleng to Van Buren, quoted in Parton, vol. iii, p. 185. 


absolutely and persistently refused to associate with Mrs. 
Eaton, deliberately ignoring her when no other resource was 
available. Van Buren was attentive and polite to Mrs. 
Eaton. He and the British and Russian ministers, Vaughn 
and Krudener, single men like himself, and with whom he 
was on excellent terms, united with him and the President 
in a vain attempt to force Mrs. Eaton on society. It was 
perhaps the only contest in Jackson s career from which he did 
not emerge victor. Almost alone he sincerely believed in and 
strongly maintained with every available resource the lady s 
entire innocence. 18 It was to no avail, and the lady in ques 
tion soon ceased attending social functions. Van Buren s 
attitude toward Mrs. Eaton, his able handling of the State 
Department, together with his amiable and conciliatory dis 
position greatly endeared him to Jackson, and gave the latter 
a very high opinion of the New Yorker s ability and tal 
ents. 19 Van Buren in return cordially and sincerely re 
ciprocated these sentiments. 20 On the other hand, the re 
fusal of the families of Calhoun and the three secretaries to 
associate with Mrs. Eaton in defiance of Jackson s wishes did 
not operate very favorably upon the President s opinion of 
these gentlemen. 

The Eaton scandal was under way before Van Buren 
reached Washington in 1829, so of course he did not in 
stigate it, nor is there any evidence connecting either him 
or Calhoun directly with utilizing the affair to advantage. 
However, Calhoun could not but view Van Buren s rise in 
Jackson s favor with alarm, and the New Yorker could not 
have been oblivious to the fact that attentions to Mrs. Eaton 
were highly pleasing to the President. In addition to this, 
the Van Buren group the leaders of Jackson s western fol 
lowing, including the " Kitchen Cabinet," and the New 
Yorker s supporters of the former Crawford faction were 

18 Parton, Life of Jackson, vol. iii, pp. 184-205 ; Bassett, Life of 
Jackson, vol. ii, pp. 458-474. 

19 Jackson to Hugh L. White, April 9, 1831, Jackson MSS. 

20 Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 232, 345. 


bent on utilizing the Eaton affair to secure Calhoun s down 
fall as heir apparent. Such being the case, it is not sur 
prising that all efforts to quiet the scandal failed, that the 
affair dragged on through 1830, and that already by the end 
of 1829, according to a contemporary, the first officers of the 
government had divided into two hostile parties on the ques 
tion of the proper treatment of Mrs. Eaton Calhoun, Ing- 
ham, Branch and Berrien on one side, the President, Van 
Buren, Eaton and Barry on the other. 21 More serious for 
Calhoun still, relations between him and the President were 
seriously strained. 22 

In January, 1830, there occurred in the Senate the great 
Hay ne- Webster debate on the theory of the Union, involving 
the main principles of States Rights, and hinting at the prin 
ciple of nullification. In this debate it was generally believed 
that Hayne was voicing the sentiments and opinions of Cal 
houn, 23 which fact did not at all raise Calhoun in Jackson s 
estimation. Since the Van Buren group had the President s 
private ear and most of his confidence, it is not surprising 
that warnings came to Jackson that Calhoun s friends were 
working secretly in Pennsylvania to undermine the Presi 
dent in order to limit him to one term. These warnings in 
the form of letters further asked why the President con 
tinued to maintain a plotter like Ingham in his cabinet. 24 
On the heels of these warnings occurred the Jefferson anni 
versary dinner, April 13, 1830. This brought matters to a 
head. At this dinner Calhoun s entire committal to nulli 
fication became so fully apparent that from that moment his 
already slender chances for endorsement by Jackson as his 
successor vanished forever, as well as all his remaining 
chances of support from Pennsylvania. 25 

21 Mrs. M. B. Smith, The First Forty Years of Washington So 
ciety (Hunt, Ed.), p. 310. 

22 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 323. 
23 Benton, Thirty Years View, vol. i, p. 138. 

24 Ross Wilkins to General Bernard, April 3, 1830; H. Petriken 
to Jackson, April 2, 1830, Jackson MSS. 

25 Simpson to McLean, April 30, 1830; R. Ruggles to McLean, 
May 5, 1830, McLean MSS. 


Calhoun had played into his enemies hands, first in the 
Eaton affair, second indirectly through Hayne s sentiments 
in the debate with Webster, and lastly by his emergence at 
the Jefferson dinner into open accord with the nullification- 
ists. This last ruined irreparably any remaining chance for 
support from Pennsylvania and New England should he 
bolt the Democratic party, and all three operated to intensify 
Jackson s growing dislike for him. 

During all this time Calhoun s enemies held their dead 
liest weapon against him in reserve. When he was Secre 
tary of War under Monroe, the Seminole War occurred, 
and Jackson, who pursued the Indians into Florida, had 
committed serious acts of indiscretion. In a cabinet meet 
ing Calhoun expressed himself in favor of reprimanding or 
punishing Jackson in some way for exceeding his instruc 
tions. Of this fact Jackson still remained entirely ignorant, 
but Crawford of Georgia was fully informed and hated 
Calhoun cordially. Moreover two of the Georgian s former 
supporters and friends, now in the Jackson party, James A. 
Hamilton and John Forsyth, had learned of the matter from 
Crawford early in 1828, and the evidence was contained in 
a letter written to Hamilton by Forsyth after an interview 
with Crawford. 26 Hamilton was an intimate friend of Van 
Buren. He revealed this letter to Lewis in i829. 2T 

In November, 1829, Eaton and Lewis informed Jackson of 
the existence of this letter and he at once demanded it. 28 
Forsyth was due in Washington as Senator from Georgia 
shortly, and thither came Hamilton also. After a confer 
ence with Jackson it was agreed that Forsyth should write 
Crawford for more authoritative and corroborative evidence. 
This was early in December, 1829. For some unknown rea 
son Forsyth did not write Crawford until the sixteenth of 

28 Niles Register, vol. xl, p. 45. 

27 Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 368-373 ; Parton, Life of Jack 
son, vol. iii, pp. 310-320. 

28 Lewis statement, given in Parton, vol. iii, pp. 323-324. 


the following April, 29 three days after the Jefferson dinner 
had placed Jackson squarely and openly at odds with Cal- 
houn as to nullification. This circumstance looks as if the 
delay had been deliberate, as if awaiting an especially favor 
able opportunity for placing in Jackson s hands such a 
weapon for Calhoun s undoing. 

Crawford replied to Forsyth on April 30, 1830, with a 
letter in which he stated that Calhoun had in Monroe s cab 
inet advocated that " Jackson should be punished in some 
form, or reprimanded in some form." 30 On May 12, 1830, 
Forsyth delivered his letter to Jackson who enclosed it next 
day to Calhoun, with a short but pointed request to be in 
formed if it was true. 31 Calhoun replied at once stating 
that he would deal with the matter more at length in a few 
days and expressing his indignation at it as the culmination 
of "the secret and mysterious attempts which have been 
making, by false insinuations, for years, for political pur 
poses, to injure my character." 32 

Calhoun had not been guilty of duplicity toward Jackson. 
Since his opinion, expressed in cabinet meeting and so under 
restriction of secrecy, was not adopted, it made no difference, 
and he was under no obligation to reveal it, quite the con 
trary in fact. His best course now would have been to 
assume high ground, to refuse to disclose cabinet secrets and 
so let the matter rest. He was betrayed by an apparent 
desire to stand well with Jackson, and on May 29, 1830, 
replied at prodigious length, 33 practically admitted that the 
charge was true, attempted to justify himself, and ascribed 

29 For Crawford s and Forsyth s letters, see Niles Register, vol. 
xl, p. 12. 

30 Crawford to Forsyth, April 30, 1830, Niles Register, vol. xl, 
p. 12. 

31 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 374 ; Jackson to Calhoun, May 
13, 1830, Jackson MSS. 

32 Calhoun to Jackson, May 13, 1830, Niles Register, vol. xl, 

p. 12. 

33 Calhoun to Jackson, May 29, 1830, Jackson MSS. This letter 
is 48 pages long. 


the whole affair to machinations of political enemies. Jack 
son forthwith replied that he had asked for no justification 
of Calhoun s motives but merely to know if the charge was 
true, and that, as Calhoun admitted having acted insincerely, 
" no further communication with you on this subject is nec 
essary." 34 

Calhoun s political undoing was complete. Before him 
lay a choice of two courses. He could either go to the 
enemy and follow Clay s leadership, a move which meant 
political suicide in the South, or else remain in the party 
under the scowl of Jackson and attempt to force himself 
upon the latter as his successor and the party s future leader 
by crushing every competitor. He decided upon the second 

Despite Van Buren s refusal to have anything to do with 
the controversy between Jackson and Calhoun, 35 the latter 
firmly believed that Van Buren was at the bottom of the 
attack on him. 36 He had been of this opinion for about six 
months before the break with Jackson, and his friends had 
been fighting hard against the Van Buren group during that 
time. 37 Calhoun s great difficulty in the struggle was stated 
by Webster thus : " Calhoun is forming a party against Van 
Buren, and as the President is supposed to be Van Buren s 
man, the Vice-President has great difficulty to separate his 
opposition to Van Buren from opposition to the President." 38 
The breach between Calhoun and Jackson was not known to 
the public at the time May, 1830. It was certain to leak 
out in the course of some months, however, and Calhoun 
and his friends resolved to be prepared against that day. 
Accordingly, with Duff Green as the agent, they began form- 

84 Jackson to Calhoun, May 29, 1830, Niles Register, vol. xl, p. 17. 

35 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 376; Farton, Life of Jackson, 
vol. iii, pp. 326-327. 

36 Calhoun, Correspondence, Annual Report of the American His 
torical Association for 1899 (J. F. Jameson, Ed.), vol. ii, pp. 289- 

37 Webster, Correspondence, vol. i, p. 483. 
ss Ibid., p. 488. 


ing a plan whose success would not only demolish Van Buren 
politically, but would also push Jackson aside as party leader 
and as candidate for reelection. 

Duff Green s Telegraph, the party s official newspaper, 
had been consistently loyal to Calhoun. Indeed, since the 
beginning of the administration its inclination had been more 
toward Calhoun than toward Jackson, but this it had kept 
for the most part within bounds. Green had become dis 
satisfied three months after Jackson was inaugurated, be 
cause he was not given a larger share of the public printing, 
of which he already did a large part. 39 As the Van Buren 
group grew in strength and in favor with Jackson, " General 
Duff" became more and more hostile to it and correspond 
ingly ardent for Calhoun. 40 By the first of 1830, Green had 
become so distasteful to the West as party editor, that there 
were some in that section in favor of his removal. 41 In the 
spring and early summer of 1830, he began to differ with the 
administration s friends as to the value of the United States 
Bank. This drew a recommendation to Jackson from James 
A. Hamilton in New York to the effect that the administra 
tion " should change its official organ" 42 Between this date 
and the end of the year, Green and the Calhoun men were 
at work on their plan for achieving a complete victory. 

The plan was, in brief, to acquire in each State the con 
trol of the party s leading newspapers and to place them in 
charge of Democrats friendly to Calhoun. This being 
effected, the Telegraph would startle the country by publish 
ing the news of the rupture between the President and Cal 
houn, ascribe it to the intrigues of Van Buren, and publish 
the Jackson-Calhoun correspondence as proof. The con 
trolled presses were then to take it up, openly to side with 
Calhoun, and the resulting outcry against Van Buren, it was 

39 Simpson to McLean, June 9, 1829, McLean MSS. ; Benton, 
vol. i, p. 129. 

40 Simpson to McLean, October n, 1829, McLean MSS. 

41 J. P. Taylor to McLean, January 31, 1830, McLean MSS. 

42 Hamilton to Jackson, July 29, 1830, Jackson MSS. 


expected, would be so great that not even Jackson s popu 
larity would save the situation. This, it was hoped, would 
ruin Van Buren politically, and perhaps prevent Jackson 
from becoming a candidate for reelection. Calhoun, it 
should be stated, had during this time been making every 
effort to collect proof of his entire blamelessness and of Van 
Buren s responsibility for the rupture with Jackson. His 
long letter to Jackson of May 29, 1830, had been written 
with an eye to future publication, and he had labored hard 
to show that the break was the result of "a political ma 
neuver in which the design is that you [Jackson] should be 
the instrument and myself the victim, but in which the real 
actors are carefully concealed." 43 During the remainder of 
1830, he wrote Monroe and the members of his cabinet seek 
ing documentary evidence that Jackson had exceeded his 
orders in the Florida campaign. 4 * This was to show the rec 
titude of his own course toward Jackson in 1818. 

In the course of the attempt to gain control of newspapers, 
Duff Green had revealed the plan to Gideon Welles, then 
editor of the Jackson paper at Hartford, Connecticut, 45 and 
also to J. M. Duncanson, one of the administration s job 
printers in Washington, whose establishment he offered to 
buy and then to vest in him the editorship of the Frankfort 
[Kentucky] Argus. 46 Both of these gentlemen revealed the 
plot to Van Buren and Jackson. This scheme, inklings of 
which had doubtless reached the administration in the fall 
of 1830, together with Duff Green s other shortcomings, re 
sulted in the elimination of the Telegraph as the party organ. 
A friend and former co-editor of Kendall s, Francis P. 
Blair, was called to Washington from Kentucky, and with 
the aid and patronage of the administration established The 
Globe, whose first issue appeared about the first of Decem- 

43 Calhoun to Jackson, May 29, 1830, Jackson MSS.; Niles Reg 
ister, vol. xl, p. 16. 

44 Niles Register, vol. xl, pp. 23-24. 

* 5 Welles to Van Buren, December 27, 1830, Van Buren MSS. 
48 Benton, vol. i, pp. 128-129. 


her, i83O. 47 Administration papers then proclaimed far and 
wide that the Telegraph no longer enjoyed the administra 
tion s confidence, and that henceforth The Globe would func 
tion in that capacity. Thus Duff Green was placed in the 
same category as Calhoun, completely discredited with the 
bulk of the party but nominally still a member of it. By 
this means the administration fortified itself for its next 
passage at arms with Calhoun. 

By the end of November, 1830, the rupture between Jack 
son and Calhoun was beginning to be known and references 
to its cause, often contradictory, were appearing in the 
papers. 48 Although, for all his efforts, Calhoun had not been 
able to trace the movement against him to Van Buren direct, 
he believed that the time was about ripe to expose the whole 
matter in detail and that to do so would blast Van Buren 
politically. 49 Inasmuch as many prominent members of the 
party feared that open rupture would distract and weaken 
it, attempts at reconciliation were made by mutual friends 
of the President and Vice-President. These attempts proved 

The Telegraph, on February 15, 1831, proceeded to pre 
pare the way for the revelation by publishing extracts from 
certain newspapers to give the impression that Van Buren 
would come out for president if Jackson declined to run. 60 
On the 1 7th, Green published the entire correspondence. 51 
It was a bad move, for it savored too much of an attack on 
Jackson and the latter s friends rallied to him and Van Buren. 
The administration papers, led by The Globe, blazed forth 
against Calhoun immediately, denounced the publication of 
the correspondence as " wholly uncalled for " and as " a fire 
brand wantonly thrown into the Republican party/ for 

47 Richards to McLean, December i, 1830, McLean MSS. 

48 Ibid., Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 376. 

49 Calhoun, Correspondence, pp. 279-283. 
60 Telegraph, February 15, 1831. 

81 Ibid., February 17, 22, 1831; Niles Register, vol. xl, pp. 11-24 


which "Calhoun will be held responsible." 52 To this the 
Calhoun papers, especially in Virginia and South Carolina, 
retorted by accusing Van Buren of bringing about the break 
by means of political trickery in order to further his own 
interests. 53 There was, however, no general rising of the 
press in favor of Calhoun; that plan had been frustrated 
by the prompt and timely elimination of the Telegraph as 
the party newspaper, and by the hold which Jackson had on 
the vast majority of his party. 

From this time there was open war between the main part 
of the party led by Jackson and such insurgents as Calhoun 
could enlist. The former struggle between the Van Buren 
and Calhoun groups over the succession entered its second 
phase with the open break between Calhoun and the Presi 
dent. This break was a distinct triumph for the Van Buren 
element since it aligned the weight of Jackson s strength 
with them. As Calhoun could not easily leave the party, 
the contest was now resolved into an effort by him, with any 
assistance he could obtain, to defeat Van Buren in 1832 for 
either president or vice-president. 

This struggle between the Calhoun and Van Buren fac 
tions, resulting in the former s insurgency, was directly 
responsible for Jackson s determination to be a candidate 
for reelection, if the people appeared to desire it. Previous 
to his election and again in both his first and second mes 
sages to Congress he had recommended a limitation of the 
presidential tenure to one term. 54 He seems to have pre 
ferred sincerely a peaceful retirement to the Hermitage as 
soon as compatible with the duties which he believed the 
people desired him to perform. 55 His break with Calhoun 
and the opinion he had formed of the latter s duplicity and 

52 Globe, February 21, 1831. 

53 Miles Register, vol. xl, pp. 70-72. 

5 * Richardson, Messages and Papers of the Presidents, vol. ii, pp. 
443, 5I&-5IQ. 

55 Jackson to Van Buren, August 8, September 5, 18, 1831, Van 
Buren MSS. 


attitude as to nullification, together with his admiration and 
friendship for Van Buren were prominent factors in his de 
cision to stand for reelection. He was furthermore in 
fluenced by the fact that his party was not yet a completely 
united political unit, and another campaign would be nec 
essary to accomplish such a result and to enable him to 
designate his successor. An additional incentive was the 
fact that Calhoun could probably defeat Van Buren for the 
party s presidential nomination, as the latter was not at all 
widely popular. This being the case, quite naturally the 
Van Buren group spared no pains to impress upon Jackson 
the people s desire that he should stand for reelection. Over 
and above all this, Jackson had his heart set on the payment 
of the national debt as a triumph of an economical policy, 
and had also begun a struggle with the Bank of the United 
States, on whose overthrow he believed the nation s future 
was largely dependent. He was the more ready for a second 
campaign since the National Republicans led by Clay were 
attacking his measures past and present furiously, and the old 
soldier s " determination never to be driven by my enemies " 
made a withdrawal under fire repugnant to him. 56 

The Van Buren group were not ignorant of the danger of 
attempting to combat Calhoun for the presidency in 1832, 
even with Jackson s aid, and hence neglected no precautions 
to convince the " Old Hero " that the people wanted him 
for president again. 57 Early in 1830 the New York Courier 
and Enquirer began breaking ground for Jackson. 58 Work 
ing through the editor of the party paper at Harrisburg, 
the " Kitchen Cabinet " drew up a letter to Jackson signed 
by sixty-eight members of the Pennsylvania legislature, re 
questing the President to stand for reelection. 59 This was 
but the beginning. On March 31, 1830, the Jackson mem 
bers of that legislature, after a sharp contest with the Cal- 

58 Ibid., September 18, 1831. 

57 Clay, Correspondence, pp. 259-260, 262-263. 

58 New York Courier and Enquirer, March 12, 15, 20, 1830. 

59 Parton, Life of Jackson, vol. iii, pp. 279-302. 


houn faction in that body, carried resolutions endorsing the 
administration, and stating, "That . . . the unity and har 
mony of the great democratic party of the Union will be 
greatly promoted " by Jackson s reelection. 60 The Regency- 
controlled legislature in New York followed suit April 13,** 
and thus, before Jackson broke with Calhoun in May, there 
was already considerable pressure upon the President to be 
again a candidate. The action of the Democrats of the 
Pennsylvania and New York legislatures was followed by 
those of New Hampshire in June, 62 and of Alabama in De 
cember, i83O, 63 and in January, 1831, before the rupture 
with Calhoun was openly proclaimed, The Globe announced 
itself authorized to say that the President would not decline 
a second term. 64 

Jackson regarded Calhoun s publication of their cor 
respondence in the light of an open defiance. Once en 
gaged in a cause he never stopped at half measures. There 
were three of Calhoun s friends in the cabinet, of whose 
secret plotting, directed by Calhoun and Duff Green, Jack 
son was firmly convinced. 66 By the first of 1831 he was 
ready for decisive action against these three, but caution was 
necessary. The publication of the correspondence contain 
ing Calhoun s attempt to lay the blame for the break with 
Jackson at Van Buren s door had produced considerable ex 
citement and indignation against the New Yorker in Vir 
ginia. This was ominous, for Virginia at that time exerted 
a greater influence than any other State upon the general 
sentiment of the country. 66 Van Buren was warned of 

60 Harrisburg Reporter, April 2, 1830, in Niles Register, vol. 
xxxviii, pp. 169-170; H. Petriken to Jackson, April 2, 1830; Ross 
Wilkins to General Bernard, April 3, 1830, Jackson MSS. 

81 Niles Register, vol. xl, p. 170. 

62 Ibid., vol. xxxviii, pp. 292-293. 

83 Ibid., vol. xxxix, p. 341. 

6 * Ibid., p. 385 ; cf . also ibid., vol. xl, p. 127. 

85 C. I. Jack to , November 10, 1830; Jackson to Mrs. 

Emily Donelson, January 20, 1831, A. J. Donelson MSS.; Jackson 
to Overton, December 31, 1830, Jackson MSS. 

68 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 385. 


danger by his friend Ritchie 67 just after the correspondence 
had been published. A fortnight later another friend, W. S. 
Archer, a Congressman, wrote from Richmond in great alarm 
that Van Buren was widely regarded as the prime mover in 
the plot to overturn Calhoun in the administration s con 
fidence, that there was much sympathy for Calhoun, that 
the administration was highly unpopular and that nothing 
could restore it except a thorough reorganization of the 
cabinet, including Van Buren s resignation. 68 

In this crisis, Van Buren resolved upon a master stroke 
to resign from the cabinet himself and if possible to draw 
Eaton into a like course. This would enable Jackson to re 
move the Calhoun members and would go far toward con 
tradicting the impression that Van Buren himself had caused 
the rupture to further his own ambition. The difficulty was 
to win over Jackson himself, as his loyalty to Van Buren 
and Eaton would operate powerfully against a course which 
to him would at first appear tantamount to quitting under 
fire from the enemy. At last, however, Van Buren suc 
ceeded in convincing Jackson of the advisability of his 
resignation. The President would not hear of his retiring 
to private life lest the enemy regard it as a victory, and in 
sisted that the secretary take the mission to England in 
stead. Eaton s name was not first mentioned. However, 
as the plan was discussed between Jackson, Van Buren, 
Eaton, Lewis and Barry, the drift of the conversation was 
doubtless so much in that direction that Eaton finally an 
nounced that he also would resign. 69 

Thus the obstacle was surmounted, and in April the resig 
nations were published, Ingham, Branch and Berrien being 
forced to resign by Jackson. Edward Livingston became 
the new Secretary of State, Van Buren replaced Louis 

C7 Ritchie to Van Buren, February 21, 1831, Van Buren MSS.; 
Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 385-386. 

t8 W. S. Archer to Van Buren, March 12, 1831, Van Buren MSS. 

89 For complete account of the cabinet break-up, see Van Buren, 
Autobiography, pp. 402-408. 


McLane in London and the latter received the Treasury 
Department. Cass was made Secretary of War, Levi Wood- 
bury Secretary of the Navy and Taney Attorney-General. 
Barry was not removed as his place was not regarded as of 
sufficient importance. During this and the preceding months 
the " Kitchen Cabinet " also underwent a change in personnel. 
Duff Green had long since been cast out and replaced by 
Blair. Lewis by opposing Jackson s Bank policy had weak 
ened his former influence as to matters of policy and was 
limited mostly to party manipulation. Kendall and Hill, who 
agreed with Jackson as to the Bank, together with Blair, were 
now closest to the President. To these should be added 
Taney and Barry of the official cabinet. Indeed, with the 
new cabinet composing a harmonious whole, Jackson was less 
given to advising with the " Kitchen Cabinet " in cardinal 
matters of policy, but he depended more upon it for the actual 
management and wire-working necessary to the direction of 
the party as a political unit. 

The cabinet reorganization marks another step in the 
solidification of the Democratic party under Jackson s un 
disputed leadership. The Maysville veto was the first step, 
and but one more now remained the United States Bank 
veto which will be noticed in a later chapter. This in 
crease in the party s solidarity was reflected in the fall elec 
tions which so effectively sustained the administration that 
for the time being Calhoun s insurgent faction of the party 
almost disappeared, even in Virginia. 70 This result con 
vinced the South Carolinian and his friends of the futility 
of attacking the administration and hence their efforts for 
some months to come were directed mainly against Van 
Buren as a vice-presidential possibility. 

Van Buren s apparent self-abnegation had raised him 
still higher in Jackson s estimation. He sailed for London 
in August, 1 83 1, 71 but still remained in close and direct com- 

70 John Campbell to Van Buren, October 4, 1831, Van Buren 
MSS. ; Clay, Correspondence, pp. 322-323. 

71 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 445. 


munication with the President. He was not widely pop 
ular in the country, however, and not generally as well 
known as Calhoun. His reputation as a political manager, 
wire-worker and manipulator caused him to be widely dis 
liked in Pennsylvania even among Jacksonians, 72 and so 
great was suspicion of him in Virginia that only his resig 
nation from the cabinet had prevented the Calhoun faction 
from getting control of that State. 73 From Jackson s let 
ters to him during the last half of 1831, it appears plainly 
that the President had fixed on Van Buren as his successor 
and had even considered resigning in the latter s favor if 
successfully reelected in 1832, provided the national debt 
and the Bank could be settled previously. 74 While these let 
ters show that Jackson preferred Van Buren for vice-pres 
ident, 75 he seems to have been neither confident of, nor de 
termined upon, the gratification of this preference. 76 In 
deed Van Buren s chances for the succession by way of the 
vice-presidency were far from good at this time. He had left 
the country without apprising his friends of any definite 
desire for the second office of the government. 77 and even 
the Richmond Junto was not inclined to favor him for it. 78 
In addition to this, there were several other candidates in the 
field, all standing high in their respective States and in the 
party s councils, namely, Mahlon Dickerson of New Jersey, 
Philip Barbour of Virginia, William Wilkins and G. M. Dal 
las of Pennsylvania, Samuel Smith of Maryland and Rich 
ard M. Johnson of Kentucky. 79 

72 "A Friend" to Van Buren, March 25, 1831, containing circu 
lar to the Democrats in Pennsylvania, Van Buren MSS. 

73 Archer to Van Buren, March 12, October 3, 1831, Van Buren 

74 Jackson to Van Buren, August 8, September 5, 18, 1831, Van 
Buren MSS. 

75 Cf. Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 506. 

78 Jackson to Van Buren, December 17, 1831, Van Buren MSS. 

77 J. W. Webb to Van Buren, December 31, 1831 ; Jackson to Van 
Buren, December 6, 1831, Van Buren MSS. 

78 Ritchie to Van Buren, April 30, 1831, Van Buren MSS. 

79 Webb to Van Buren, December 31, 1831 ; Walter Lowrie to 
Van Buren, January 27, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 


Van Buren was not out of touch with the situation as his 
letters to Jackson and to his lieutenants Cambreleng, Marcy 
and Hamilton indicate, and his organization in New York 
had the situation in that State well in hand. He wrote Jack 
son on November n, 1831, referring to the election in 1832, 
" The only point in the Union . . . which will require par 
ticular attention will be New York. My undivided atten 
tion will be directed to it ... and it shall go hard, if we do 
not direct it to a safe and glorious result/ 80 His most 
trusted lieutenant, a politician little inferior to himself, with 
whom he was in closest communication and most of whose 
letters he destroyed after reading, 81 was Churchill C. Cam 
breleng, Congressman from New York City. His care of 
Van Buren s interests and his political insight appear clearly 
from the following: 

Some of your best friends . . . wish most sincerely, and I am 
among the number, that the senate would reject you! I know you 
will be annoyed at such a result but it s the only thing that can 
remedy your error in going abroad it s the only thing that can 
prevent the election in 1836 from going to the House. . . . Some 
thing striking something to unite the party on a successor is abso 
lutely necessary. ... If you could but be rejected you would re 
turn in triumph we should have . . . the King, commons, and 
people against the Lords You would be identified with the party 
and without a competitor . . . but they are too cunning to do you 
such a service. ... I say again I wish they would. 82 

This very thing needed to unite the Democratic party on 
a vice-president as well as presumptive successor to Jackson 
occurred on January 25, 1832. Calhoun, smarting under 
past defeats, took the lead in joining forces with Clay and 
Webster in the Senate and defeated Van Buren s nomination 
as minister to England by one vote. 83 The whole proceed 
ing was arranged so as to give Calhoun the pleasure of neg 
ativing what he fondly believed to be his rival s political 

80 Van Buren to Jackson, October n, 1831, Van Buren MSS. 

81 Van Buren to Cambreleng, October 14, 1831, Van Buren MSS. 

82 Cambreleng to Van Buren, January 4, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 

83 Marcy to Van Buren, January 26, 1832, Van Buren MSS. ; Van 
Buren, Autobiography, pp. 512, 520. 



prospects as well as present occupation. The ostensible 
cause for this action was the instructions which Van Buren 
as Secretary of State had given to McLane to govern him 
in negotiating with England for opening the West Indies to 
American trade. The charges alleged were that these in 
structions lowered the dignity of the United States as a 
nation. There was nothing in them, and the country speedily 
recognized the action of the Senate as a political maneuver. 84 

Calhoun was delighted ; he is alleged to have said on the 
occasion, " It will kill him, sir, kill him dead. He will never 
kick, sir, never kick." 85 No less pleased were Benton and 
other friends of Van Buren. The former said immediately 
the vote was announced, " You have broken a minister and 
elected a Vice-President," 86 and also, "I am now for Van 
Buren for Vice-President first and then I am for Van Buren 
for President." 8T Jackson on hearing the news flew into a 
towering rage and used language neither mild nor compli 
mentary to the Senate. 88 Aside from his fondness for Van 
Buren, he regarded the rejection as a direct insult to him 
self, 89 and immediately began active steps looking to Van 
Buren s nomination at the Baltimore Convention in May. 90 
In this course he had the cordial concurrence of the party 
leaders. 91 

No greater or more foolish political blunder was ever 
made by Calhoun. The results of the rejection did for Van 
Buren the one thing above all others likely to benefit him 
most at Calhoun s expense. The result of this political per- 

84 Benton, Thirty Years View, vol. i, pp. 214-219; Van Buren, 
Autobiography, pp. 454-456, 510-513, 520-527. 

85 Benton, Thirty Years View, vol. i, p. 219. 

86 Ibid., p. 215. 

87 Lowrie to Van Buren, January 27, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 

88 Ibid. 

89 Jackson to John Randolph, March 3, 1832, Jackson MSS.; A. 
J. Donelson to John Coffee, January 26, 1832, Donelson MSS. 

90 Jackson to Felix Grundy, February 4, 1832, Jackson MSS.; 
Richards to McLean, January 16, 1832, McLean MSS. 

91 John Forsyth to Van Buren, January 28, 1832; Elijah Hay- 
ward to Van Buren, January 30, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 


secution upon the party at large was immediate. Richard 
M. Johnson of Kentucky, probably the leading candidate 
for vice-president, at once announced his withdrawal in Van 
Buren s favor. 92 In New York it produced a veritable fer 
ment. 93 Resolutions of sympathy were sent to Van Buren, 
and the legislature voted resolutions of confidence in Van 
Buren and the administration, and of censure for Calhoun. 9 * 
In Pennsylvania, where Van Buren was least popular, a 
temporary reaction in his favor resulted. 95 In Virginia, so 
strong was the dislike of persecution, that sentiment swung 
strongly to Van Buren and the Junto at once began to uti 
lize it. 96 From Jackson s friends in Tennessee and Alabama 
came news of Van Buren s rise in popular estimation and 
pledges of support for him. 97 In short, as Cambreleng wrote 
Van Buren, "the rejection . . . has made you twice as 
strong as you ever were at home and has made a party for 
you throughout the union." 98 

Van Buren was much surprised at his enemies blunder. 
His political future was assured and it only remained for 
him to avoid mistakes. So careful was he that he did not 
even wish to appear to exploit the sentiment in his favor at 
home, and so took care not to arrive there until after the 
party convention at Baltimore. 99 He contented himself with 
a trip to the continent and with a letter to his friends author 
izing the use of his name for vice-president. 100 

92 Blair to Van Buren, January 28, 1832, Van Buren MSS. ; J. W. 
Webb to Nicholas Biddle, February 5, 1832, Biddle MSS. 

93 Hamilton to Van Buren, February i, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 

94 In Van Buren MSS. dated January 31, and February 3, 1832. 

95 Simpson to McLean, February 2, 8, 1832, McLean MSS. 

96 Richard E, Parker to John Campbell, February 3, September 
5, 1832 ; Andrew Stevenson to Ritchie, February 4, 1832, Van Buren 

97 William Carroll to Jackson, February 7, 1832 ; John Coffee to 
Jackson, February 24, 1832; Eaton to Jackson, March 22, 1832, 
Jackson MSS. 

98 Cambreleng to Van Buren, February 4, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 
"Van Buren to John Van Buren, February 23, 1832, Van Buren 

100 Van Buren to Marcy, March 14, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 


Calhoun and his followers speedily realized their blunder 
and set to work to counteract it. There was no hope of 
defeating Jackson, hence they made a virtue of necessity 
and professed to support him. At the same time they con 
centrated their efforts on the vice-presidential contest, hop 
ing either to defeat Van Buren in the convention, or if that 
failed, to place another candidate in the field, intending by 
thus splitting the party s vote to prevent Van Buren from 
gaining an electoral majority, and so to relegate his chances 
of election to the tender mercies of the Senate. 101 Accord 
ingly they insisted that as Jackson was not opposed to the 
tariff, it was only fair that Southern interests should be 
safe-guarded by the selection of an anti-tariff Southerner 
for second place on the party s ticket, and centered their 
efforts in Virginia, South Carolina and Alabama to procure 
the election of delegates who would support Philip P. Bar- 
bour of Virginia at Baltimore. 102 Their preference for Bar- 
bour was due to his States Rights views, to his popularity in 
Virginia, to the fact that he was still in the administration s 
good graces, 103 to his liking for Calhoun, and also to the 
fact that the latter, now serving his second vice-presidential 
term, would not be favorably regarded for a third. 104 

Although Calhoun was now powerless in Pennsylvania, 
there was hope that that State would utterly refuse Van 
Buren, whom it associated with New York s political dom 
ination. The hope was well founded. Van Buren s enemies 
in the State were nearly as numerous as Jackson s admirers. 
Therefore, when on June 25, 183 1, 105 the New Hampshire 
legislature recommended the Democratic convention of 1832 
at Baltimore for the nomination of a vice-president, the 

101 Stevenson to Ritchie, February 4, 1832 ; F. P. Blair to Van 
Buren, January 28, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 

102 Blair to Van Buren, January 28, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 

103 Lewis to Van Buren, April 22, 1859, in Van Buren, Autobi 
ography, p. 584. 

104 The Globe, July 6, 1831, reprint from New Hampshire Patriot. 

105 The Globe, July 6, 1831. 


Pennsylvania Democrats feared that this had been engi 
neered in Van Buren s interests, and bestirred themselves. 
Local meetings were held endorsing either Wilkins or Dal 
las, their Senators, for vice-presidential nominee with Jack 
son. 106 These meetings culminated in a state convention at 
Harrisburg, March 5, 1832. Its object was to nominate a 
vice-presidential candidate and so to forestall the Baltimore 
convention, or at least to influence its course. 107 

This Harrisburg convention was thoroughly representa 
tive of opinion in the State, and its delegates had been chosen 
in the same way as in 1824 and 1828; in addition most of 
them had been instructed for Wilkins or for Dallas. So 
close was the contest between these two for nomination on 
the ticket with Jackson, that, although the latter was almost 
unanimously supported for president, ten ballots were taken 
before Wilkins was chosen. Van Buren did not receive 
above four votes at any stage of the proceedings. To make 
assurance doubly sure against him, the convention then 
pledged its electoral ticket to vote for Dallas should Wilkins 
die before the election. 108 

The call for the Baltimore convention originated with the 
" Kitchen Cabinet," and as far as can be determined, though 
this body was friendly to Van Buren, its action was dictated 
rather by desire for party unity and harmony than by any 
design to force him upon the party as vice-president. With 
Calhoun openly eliminated by the spring of 1831, it required 
no gift of prophecy to tell that there would be many as 
pirants in the Democratic field for vice-presidential honors, 
hence the " Kitchen Cabinet " now the directing power, 
under Jackson, of the party s politics took the matter in 
hand. Lewis wrote to Kendall, who at the time May 25, 
1831 was visiting Isaac Hill, Senator-elect and political 
leader of New Hampshire. The letter gave the opinion of 

io Ibid., July 14, 1831. 

107 Richards to McLean, March 17, 1832, McLean MSS. 

108 The Globe, March 8, 9, 1832; Niles Register, vol. xlii, pp. 
21, 72. 


the party leaders in Washington that it was then too early 
to bring out a vice-presidential candidate, mentioned Bar- 
bour and Dickerson as already in the field, and suggested 
as the best means of uniting the party opinion on one man, 
that a national convention be held in May, 1832, and that 
such a step proposed by the New Hampshire legislature 
would probably be concurred in by other States. It urged 
Kendall to consider it and, if advisable, to suggest this step 
to Hill. 109 In this letter Lewis merely took a leaf from the 
enemies books, since it was then generally known that both 
Antimasons and National Republicans had fixed dates in 
1831 for similar conventions, also at Baltimore. 110 

Kendall and Hill found Lewis suggestion good and acted 
accordingly. 111 Less than a month later a Democratic caucus 
of the New Hampshire legislature recommended, " to their 
republican brethren in other states, friendly to the reelection 
of Andrew Jackson, to elect delegates equal to the number of 
Electors of President in each state, to attend a general con 
vention to be holden at Baltimore ... on the third Mon 
day of May, 1832 ; which convention shall have for its ob 
ject the adoption of such measures as will best promote the 
reelection of Andrew Jackson, and the nomination of a 
candidate to be supported as Vice-President at the same elec 
tion." 112 This The Globe approved and recommended to 
the party throughout the country. It was endorsed by a 
public meeting at Philadelphia July n, lls and subsequently 
in various States. Between this time and the end of March, 
1832, every State in the union except Virginia and Pennsyl 
vania had appointed delegates. 114 

The method of appointing delegates varied in different 
States. In New Hampshire they were appointed by legis- 

109 Lewis to Kendall, May 25, 1831, in Parton, Life of Jackson, 
vol. iii, pp. 282-283. See also Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 584. 

110 Niles Register, vol. xxxix, pp. 58, 91. Ibid. 

111 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 584. 

112 The Globe, July 6, 1831, reprint from the New Hampshire 

118 Ibid, July 19, 1831. 

114 Ibid., January 3, 23, March 20, 22, 1832. 


lative caucus. 115 In North Carolina, Kentucky and Ohio 
they were appointed by state conventions. 116 In Virginia the 
choice was made by local meetings of city and county. 117 In 
Pennsylvania the bulk of the party, having made its vice- 
presidential nomination, would not appoint delegates to Bal 
timore; hence only a dozen self-appointed individuals, like 
Simon Cameron and George Kremer, attended in the capacity 
of delegates, 118 and there were few leaders from that State 
at the convention. From other States party managers were 
out in force, Hill from New Hampshire, Overton and Eaton 
from Tennessee, Lucas from Ohio, Poinsett from South 
Carolina and several of both Regency and Junto. 119 

In a few of the States, there was something closely akin 
to instructed delegations. Thus in New Jersey where the 
delegates were chosen by legislative caucus, they were " re 
quested " to urge Mahlon Dickerson upon the convention for 
vice-president. 120 In Alabama, where the Calhoun element 
had made strenuous efforts, the legislature instructed the 
delegates to vote for Barbour. 121 In Kentucky the state con 
vention instructed its delegates to vote for Richard M. John 
son. 122 

As to the size of delegations, the recommendation of the 
New Hampshire caucus, in initiating the convention move 
ment, that each delegation should be equal to its State s quota 
in the electoral college, was strictly adhered to by about 
half of the States. 123 In the other half, some States sent 
less and some more than this ratio. Conspicuous among the 

" 5 Ibid., July 6, 1831. 

118 Ibid., January 3, 23, March 20, 1832. 

117 Richmond Enquirer, March 17, 20, 23, 1832. 
"8 The Globe, May 29, 1832. 

119 Ibid. 

120 Ibid., March 20, 1832. 

121 F. P. Blair to Van Buren, January 28, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 

122 The Globe, January 3, 1832. 

123 Ibid., May 29, 1832, list of delegates by States. Summary of 
the Proceedings of Convention of Republican Delegates held at 
Baltimore, May, 1832, History Pamphlets, vol. 293, Johns Hopkins 
University Library. 



latter were Virginia and New Jersey, whose delegates num 
bered 94 and 52 respectively. In every case, in the choice of 
delegates there was a general recognition of the fact that 
their sole functions were the nomination of a vice-president 
and the promotion of the ticket s success. Jackson s nom 
ination was everywhere regarded as a fait accompli. 

The Virginia situation needs some explanation. The 
leaders of the Junto desired to line up the State for Van 
Buren in spite of the formidable opposition supporting Bar- 
bour. In February, 1832, a state convention was called 
under Junto auspices. There was no difficulty in securing 
an endorsement of Jackson, but the fight over Van Buren 
was hotly contested and the Junto forces, seeing that the 
opposition was too strong, forced an adjournment. 124 A 
fortnight later a legislative caucus likewise failed to agree to 
support Van Buren and voted three to one against making 
any vice-presidential nomination. It also voted to leave the 
selection of delegates to Baltimore to the people. 126 The 
cities and counties therefore each chose delegates in numbers 
varying from one in the less important counties to half a 
dozen from the city and county of Richmond. 128 

Such were the origin and sources of " the Baltimore Dem 
ocratic Republican Convention, appointed to nominate a can 
didate for Vice- President," 127 which assembled at the 
Athenaeum May 21, 1832. The total number of delegates 
was 334, 128 from every State except Missouri, whose dele 
gates did not appear, and the average attendance was about 

The first day and a half was devoted to organization. 
Frederick A. Sumner of New Hampshire called the meeting 
to order and stated its objects as the harmonious choice of 
a vice-presidential candidate and the promotion of success 
at the coming election. After the election of temporary 

124 Ibid., March 20, 1832 ; Richmond Enquirer, March 17, 1832. 

125 Richmond Enquirer, March 17, 20, 23, 1832. 

126 The Globe, May i, 29, 1832. 

127 Ibid., May i, 1832. 

128 Ibid., May 29, 1832 ; Proceedings of the Convention. 


officers, a committee of one from each State was appointed 
to report to the convention a list of the delegates in attend 
ance, a function closely analogous to that of the present-day 
Credentials Committee. Following its report came a roll- 
call of the delegates by States. 129 

These preliminaries accomplished, the convention author 
ized each state delegation to appoint one member of a com 
mittee whose duties would be to select permanent officers 
and to prepare rules for the government of the convention. 
Here we have the identical functions of the modern Com 
mittee on Permanent Organization and of that on Rules, 
vested in one committee. This committee was the main 
spring of the convention, and the results of its labors are still 
in force today. The meeting then adjourned until next 
morning Tuesday the 22nd. 130 

On the convention being called to order next day, the 
organization-and-rules committee, with William R. King of 
Alabama as chairman, reported. It recommended General 
Robert Lucas, the chairman pro tempore, for the permanent 
position, four vice-presidents of whom Daniel of the Rich 
mond Junto was the first and three secretaries. Lucas 
was then installed, and made a brief acknowledgment. This 
completed the convention s organization. 131 

The committee then reported the rules. First and most 
important of these was, "Resolved, That each state be en 
titled, in the nomination to be made of the candidate for the 
vice-presidency, to a number of votes equal to the number to 
which they will be entitled in the electoral colleges . . . and 
that two-thirds of the whole number of the votes in the 
convention shall be necessary to constitute a choice." 132 

129 Ibid., May 23, 1832 ; Baltimore American, May 22, 1832 ; Pro 
ceedings of the Convention. 

130 The Globe, May 23, 1832 ; Baltimore American, May 22, 1832. 
The Convention met on the 22nd and subsequently in the Univer- 
salist Church, then on St. Paul Street just above Saratoga Street, 
because the meeting was too large for the Athenaeum s capacity. 

181 The Baltimore American, May 23, 1832; The Globe, May 24, 
1832; Proceedings of the Convention. 
* Ibid. 


King prefaced this resolution with a few remarks to the 
effect that the committee believed this to be the fairest ap 
portionment of nominating votes. The two-thirds majority 
for nomination, he said, was desirable because a selection 
predicated upon it would indicate a more general concur 
rence of opinion, carry greater moral weight and be more 
favorably received by the country than one supported by a 
simple majority. Another important reason for its adoption 
was the presence of delegates from many States which 
would certainly vote against Jackson in the election. 133 
There was some opposition and a motion was made to strike 
out the two-thirds clause ; it failed to pass, however, and the 
rule was adopted unchanged, as it has remained ever since. 134 
The committee s next recommendation was almost equally 
important in convention history. It was " That in taking the 
vote, the majority of the delegates from each state designate 
the person by whom the votes for that state shall be cast," 
and that " in voting on the nomination for vice-president, 
the authorized person shall designate the name of the per 
son to be voted for by the delegates from that state." 136 
This was the first precedent for, and practice of, the Unit 
Rule. Its adoption was occasioned by two circumstances ; 
first, the size of several delegations in proportion to the num 
ber of votes they were entitled to cast, and, second, certain 
state delegations were either instructed or expected by their 
constituents to vote for a particular candidate. 136 This rule, 
though adopted, was not rigidly enforced by this conven- 

133 Richmond Enquirer, May 29, 1832. 

134 Baltimore American, May 23, 1832; The Globe, May 24, 1832. 
In the Democratic Convention of 1836, and again in that of 1844, 
attempts were made to replace the " two-thirds " rule by a simple 
majority in making nominations. Both attempts failed. The de 
cisive action of the convention of 1844 in refusing to replace the 
"two-thirds" rule by a simple majority resulted in the defeat of 
Van Buren for the nomination, and permanently established the 
"two-thirds" rule in Democratic convention practice (Edward 
Stanwood, History of Presidential Elections, pp. 116, 146-148.) 

135 The Globe, May 24, 1832. 

139 Richmond Enquirer, February 28, May 29, 1832; The Globe, 
May 29, 1832. 


tion ; some delegations, like that of Kentucky, observed it ; 
others, notably Alabama, did not. 137 

The afternoon session this day brought the nomination. 
There were no nominating speeches. 138 The first ballot was 
the only one taken. On it Van Buren received 208 votes, 
about 40 more than the necessary two-thirds. Barbour re 
ceived all those of Virginia and South Carolina, six each 
from North Carolina and Alabama and three from Mary 
land, a total of 49. Johnson received all those from Ken 
tucky and Indiana and two from Illinois. Van Buren had all 
the rest and was declared duly nominated. The Virginia dele 
gation, following a short recess, announced its concurrence in 
the nomination of Van Buren, in which course it was fol 
lowed by those of Kentucky, Indiana and Alabama. The 
convention, doubtless encouraged by this, then adopted a 
resolution expressing its unanimous concurrence in recom 
mending Van Buren to the country for the office of vice- 
president. This was followed by another resolution en 
dorsing Jackson s character in highest terms and concurring 
in the various state nominations for president which he had 
received. This was the sole reference made to him during 
the convention. The president and vice-presidents were then 
appointed as a committee to notify Van Buren of his nom 
ination, which they did at once by letter addressed to him 
at New York 139 since he had not yet returned from 
Europe. On recommendation from the organization-and- 
rules committee, a committee was then appointed to draft 
the usual address to the nation and the meeting adjourned 
to the next morning. 140 

At the session of Wednesday morning the address com 
mittee urged that in place of a general address to the people 
" it be recommended to the delegates to make such a report 
or address to their constituents as they might think proper." 

137 Baltimore American, May 23, 1832; The Globe, May 24, 1832. 
8 Ibid. 

139 Letter is dated May 22, 1832, in Van Buren MSS. 

140 Baltimore American, May 23, 1832 ; The Globe, May 24, 1832. 


This effective substitute for the usual address issued by polit 
ical meetings of that day, was adopted and nothing re 
sembling a platform issued from this convention. 141 

The final business was the establishment of an effective 
campaign organization. This was done by authorizing each 
delegation to appoint a general correspondence committee 
for its State, and by the designation by the chairman of the 
convention of a general central committee to reside in the 
District of Columbia. Following this the usual votes of 
thanks to the meeting s officers were passed, and after re 
solving to wait upon Charles Carroll of Carrollton imme 
diately thereafter, the convention adjourned sine die. 142 

One other transaction deserves notice. Sumner of New 
Hampshire, in his remarks at the initial session of the con 
vention, in stating the motives which led his state legislature 
to call for a national convention, said that prominent among 
them was the desire to establish thus a precedent for future 
elections as a means of securing party harmony in making 
nominations. 143 Shortly before the convention adjourned, 
Simon Cameron of Pennsylvania offered a resolution to se 
cure in future the convention mode of nominating candi 
dates : " Resolved, That it is expedient and it is hereby 
recommended that such selections should be made by na 
tional conventions, composed of delegates to be selected by 
the democratic party of each state equal in number to the 
representatives of such state in ... Congress ... to as 
semble in the city of Baltimore the third Monday in May 
in every fourth year hereafter." 144 Some discussion arose 
and the resolution was withdrawn. The importance of the 
above speech and resolution lies in the fact that both clearly 
indicate, as was the case with the Antimasons, a recognition 
by the party of the need for larger, more far-reaching and 
better coordinated party machinery to effect presidential 

141 Ibid., May 24, 1832 ; Ibid., May 25, 1832. 

142 Ibid. 

143 The Globe, May 23, 1832. 

144 Baltimore American, May 24, 1832. 


nominations and to promote the ticket s success. They fur 
ther indicate a consciousness that the national nominating 
convention was best fitted to meet this need. Although 
Cameron withdrew his resolution, it is interesting to note 
that down to 1852, every subsequent Democratic convention 
was held in Baltimore, every one met in the presidential 
year in the month of May, and, excepting that of 1840, 
every one met on the third Monday of that month. 145 

The Democratic convention was in many respects the 
most important of the three held during this campaign, even 
though its object was only a vice-presidential nomination. In 
the first place it was larger than either of the others, both 
numerically and in the number of States represented. In the 
second place, representing a well-organized party, it sprang 
from a more definite party need, namely, the necessity for a 
harmonious selection from several vice-presidential aspirants, 
and was therefore less of an electioneering, propagandic 
measure than either of the others ; hence it was most nearly 
of them all the true prototype of the nominating convention 
of today. 

145 Stanwood, History of Presidential Elections, pp. 115, 129, 145, 
165, 180. 



From a region where the banks were few, their operations 
of the " wildcat " variety, their paper money of dubious value, 
and their failures frequent, Andrew Jackson voiced his opinion 
of them when he said " I hate ragg, tagg banks and empty 
pockets." 1 From this it would appear that he regarded the 
paper money of banks and a deflated purse as cause and 
effect respectively, and specie as the only safe medium of 
exchange. Moreover he had been of this opinion ever since 
he had read of the South Sea Bubble. 2 More specific than 
this, he had opposed the founding of a branch of the United 
States Bank at Nashville, i8i7-i8i8, 3 had expressed hos 
tility to it in 1827,* and had been near introducing a passage 
against the parent Bank in his inaugural address. 6 Thus 
Jackson entered the presidency with a definite bias against 
the Bank as a financial institution. He further regarded it 
as unauthorized by the Constitution, 6 and at once began con 
sidering a substitute for it, and as early as May 2, 1829, 
wrote to Felix Grundy asking his views on the subject. 7 
About the same time Nicholas Biddle, the able and auto 
cratic president of the Bank, was desirous of winning Jack 
son s approval for that institution. He hoped to attain this 

1 Jackson to A. J. Donelson, August 19, 1820, Donelson MSS. 

2 Memorandum in Biddle s hand of a conversation with Jackson in 
November, 1829, Nicholas Biddle MSS. 

3 Bassett, Life of Andrew Jackson, vol. ii, p. 589; Catterall, The 
Second Bank of the United States, p. 183. 

4 Hamilton, Reminiscences, p. 69. 

5 Bassett, Life of Jackson, vol. ii, pp. 429-430; Catterall, p. 183. 

9 Biddle s memorandum of conversation with Jackson, November, 
1829, Biddle MSS. 
7 Felix Grundy to Jackson, May 22, 1829, Jackson MSS. 



object by offers to hand over to the Jacksonians the control 
of the Nashville branch and by convincing the President of 
the Bank s utility to the government in Jackson s pet policy. 
the payment of the last of the national debt by March 4, 

The institution of which Jackson disapproved had been 
chartered in 1816, primarily for the purpose of extricating 
the country from the financial debacle resulting from the 
War of 1812. After six years of struggle it came under 
Biddle s direction. Thanks to his able financial policy and 
careful attention to its affairs, the Bank soon thereafter 
began to prosper and by 1829 was entirely sound and flour 
ishing, with its stock worth I22. 9 Of its capital of 
$35,000,000, one-fifth was subscribed by the United States, 
which likewise appointed one-fifth of the governing board 
of twenty-five directors, the remainder being chosen by the 
private stockholders. It was authorized by its charter to 
issue notes without restriction, provided it could redeem 
them in specie when presented or else pay interest on them 
at 12 per cent. These notes were receivable for government 
dues, a privilege accorded the notes of state banks only when 
they were redeemed in specie. In addition, the Bank en 
joyed the use of the government s deposits without paying 
interest, but the Secretary of the Treasury could remove 
these at will provided he at once stated to Congress the rea 
sons for so doing. Another power of great importance 
enabled the parent Bank at Philadelphia to establish branch 
offices of discount and deposit wherever it saw favorable 
openings. These branches were to be administered and gov 
erned by officers chosen by the central board of directors. 10 

In 1829 the Bank had twenty- four branches, one or more 

8 Thomas Cadwalader to Jackson, October 15, 1828, Jackson 
MSS.; William B. Lewis to Biddle, June 28, 1829, Biddle MSS.; 
Biddle to Asbury Dickins, May 19, 1829, Biddle s Letter Book among 
Biddle MSS. 

9 Niles Register, vol. xxxvii, p. 359. 

10 Charter in United States Statutes at Large, vol. iii, pp. 266-277. 


in every State except Delaware, Indiana and Illinois. 11 This 
widespread, highly centralized banking system was all-power 
ful in the country s banking operations. Its size and charter 
privileges gave it power over all state banks, no combination 
of which could hope to combat it successfully. By pre 
senting for payment the quantities of state bank notes it 
received, it forced the latter to maintain reserves of coin 
adequate to support their note issues, and in this lay its 
chief advantage to the country. 

At the close of 1829, more than one-fourth of its 
$28,000,000 of privately owned stock was in the hands of 
three hundred and eighty-three foreigners who had little 
influence in determining its policy. Of the remaining 
$20,800,000 in privately owned shares, over $16,000,000, or 
more than half the total amount of stock not owned by the 
United States government, was in the hands of a group of 
moneyed individuals, only eight hundred and twenty-two 
in number. None of these held less than $5,000 worth of 
stock, and more than half of them held $10,000 worth or 
more per capita. This group, if it so chose, had sufficient 
votes to control a decided majority of the twenty directors 
elected by the private stock holders. The remaining 2,780 
American private stock holders held only a little more than 
$3,000,000 worth of shares. 12 

This centralization of financial power in the hands of a 
few, the size and strength of the Bank, its authority to ex 
tend its branches wherever it saw opportunity, its power to 
issue and control notes proportionate to the needs of the 
country s growing business, all together rendered it strongly 
monopolistic in character, beneficial to the nation, it is true, 
but with dangerous potentialities in the direction of cen 
tralization at local and state expense. 

Owing to its power over their note issues, if for no other 
reason, the Bank was always disliked by the local state in- 

11 Catterall, Second Bank, p. 376. 

12 These facts are drawn from statement in Biddle s Letter Book, 
December 26, 1829. 


stitutions. Since these latter were usually closely con 
nected with local politics there was always opposition to the 
federal bank, particularly in the South and West. The 
growth of this opposition in the West was fostered greatly 
by the Bank s incidental profits from sales of land left on 
its hands as forfeited security resulting from the financial 
depression of i8i9. 13 In the South the opposition naturally 
centered around the Bank s constitutional side. 14 This op 
position to the institution had in the past found vent in at 
tempts by the state legislatures to limit or destroy it. Here 
the Supreme Court intervened in the cases of McCulloh vs. 
Maryland and Osborn vs. The Bank of the United States, 
which made the Bank s position invulnerable for the duration 
of its charter. Although this status of the Bank had been 
generally acquiesced in several years prior to 1829, opposi 
tion to it was still latent in the hearts of the democratic 
masses of the West and those in the States Rights men of 
the South. 

With Jackson s accession, his democratic followers were 
not long in raising complaints against the Bank. These 
took the form of charges that in the late presidential con 
test the branches in Kentucky, 15 New Orleans, 16 and Ports 
mouth, New Hampshire, 17 had extended facilities to the 
supporters of Adams which had been denied to those of 
Jackson. The charges against the last of these involved 
Biddle in a correspondence with Ingham of the Treasury in 
the course of which Biddle practically informed the latter, 
on September 15, 1829, that it was none of the administra 
tion s business to enquire into the political opinions of the 
Bank s officers. This letter of Biddle s stirred Jackson s 

13 Benton, Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, vol. xi, p. 
153; Bassett, Life of Jackson, vol. ii, p. 686. 

14 Judge John Catron to Donelson, December 31, 1829, Donelson 
MSS. ; Niles Register, vol. xxxvii, pp. 275, 367. 

15 McLean to Biddle, January 5, 1829, McLean MSS. 

16 M. L. Bevan to Biddle, October 21, 1829; Samuel Jaudon to 
Biddle, October 21, 1829, Biddle MSS. 

17 22nd Cong., ist sess., House Report No. 460, pp. 439-440. 


antagonism. Among the latter s papers is an undated one 
in his own hand, headed " Extract from P. of the Bank." 
Immediately below this are copied the very lines of Riddle s 
letter of September 15, in which the latter had informed 
Ingham that the Bank directors "acknowledge not the 
slightest responsibility of any description whatsoever to the 
Secretary of the Treasury touching the political opinions 
and conduct of their officers, that being a subject on which 
they . . . never desire to know the views of any administra 
tion." Immediately below these lines is written in Jack 
son s hand, " The Secretary must note ; & reply to that part 
of the P. ... and relieve the executive from any inter 
ference with the Bank; but remark, he reserves his consti 
tutional powers to be exercised through Congress, to redress 
all grievances complained of by the people of the interfer 
ence by the Branches with the local elections of the states, 
& all interference with party politicks, in every section of 
our country, where those complaints have reached the 
Executive." 18 Ingham replied in this tenor and at great 
length on October 5. 19 

Biddle sensed danger from the tone of Ingham s reply and 
renewed his efforts to gain the Executive s good will. He 
industriously investigated the charges against the branches 
of partiality and brought the results to Jackson s notice. 20 
He kept in close touch with Lewis of the " Kitchen Cab 
inet " and consulted him about appointing friends of the ad 
ministration to the directorates of various western and south 
western branches. 21 He advanced a plan whereby the ad 
ministration might pay the last of the national debt on the 
anniversary of the battle of New Orleans in i833. 22 He 

18 Undated memorandum in Jackson s hand, Jackson MSS., vol. 

19 Ingham-Biddle correspondence contained in 22nd Cong., 1st 
sess., H. Rept. No. 460, pp. 456-468; see especially pp. 460, 462, 466. 

20 Bevan to Biddle, October 21, 1829; Jaudon to Biddle, October 
21, 1829, Biddle MSS. 

21 Biddle to Lewis, November 29, 1829 to May 8, 1830, in Biddle 
Letter Book. 

22 Ibid., November 15, 1829. 


went to Washington about November 19, and conferred 
with Jackson in person. 23 In this interview Jackson ex 
pressed plainly his suspicion of all banks, that he believed 
Biddle s to be unconstitutional despite Marshall s opinion to 
the contrary, that he had every reason to be satisfied with 
the president and parent board of directors, and concluded 
by mentioning that he would mention the Bank s services 
in paying off the latest installment of the national debt in 
his approaching message to Congress. 24 Biddle, over prone 
to optimism, in which he was unduly encouraged by Lewis, 25 
took this last remark of the President s to mean that he 
would speak in high terms of the Bank s value to the 
country. 26 

Mistaking thus Jackson s frank, courteous attitude toward 
him for approval of the Bank, Biddle and the institution s 
friends were vastly surprised and somewhat alarmed when 
the President, having mentioned the Bank s services in his 
message as he had said he would do, came out fairly and 
squarely against a renewal of the institution s charter on 
the ground that it was unconstitutional, inexpedient and had 
failed in " establishing a uniform and sound currency." He 
mentioned as a substitute for the present Bank one purely 
national in character, founded upon the government and 
revenues, but gave no details. 27 Biddle was so far from 
understanding Jackson s tenacity of purpose and party con 
trol that he regarded this part of the message as " an opin 
ion of the President alone ... a personal measure," and 
therefore far less dangerous than if it had been a cabinet 
or a party measure. 28 

23 Biddle to General Sam Smith, January 2, 1830, Letter Book. 

24 Memorandum in Biddle s hand of conversation with Jackson, 
Biddle MSS. 

25 Lewis to Biddle, November 5, 11, 1829, Biddle MSS. 

28 Biddle to Sam Smith, January 2, 1830; to Alexander Hamil 
ton, December 9, 10, 1829, Letter Book. 

27 Richardson, Messages and Papers, vol. ii, pp. 451, 462. 

28 Biddle to George Hoffman, December 15, 1829; to Sam Smith, 
January 2, 1830, Biddle MSS. 


Biddle was wholly wrong in his belief, as events soon be 
gan to demonstrate, that this initial attack was an unsup 
ported opinion of the President alone. As soon as the 
message reached New York the Bank s stock fell from 125^4 
to I2O. 29 On December 15 the South Carolina legislature 
began considering a resolution instructing its congressional 
delegation to oppose the rechartering of the Bank. 30 The 
opinion of the Western democracy on the subject was voiced 
by Judge John Catron, Chief Justice of the Tennessee Su 
preme Court. He heartily approved of Jackson s attack on 
the money monopoly which he declared was contrary to the 
interests of " the Southern & Western people," was sapping 
" the sound actions of our state governments ... as well as 
those of the Fedrl. Govt. by controlling the elective fran 
chise by the use of money." He added further that the 
preventing of rechartering it " must be, the rallying point of 
party; a warfare in which there can be no neutrality. . . . 
From the day Jackson was elected ... I have believed this 
question, would here, & in Kentucky, destroy Mr. Clay s 
power if fully raised. . . . The message has settled the 
question." 31 To the same effect wrote also Jackson s 
friend and neighbor, Alfred Balch. 32 

Jackson s assertion that the Bank had failed in establish 
ing a sound currency Biddle regarded as the most damag 
ing. The latter therefore suggested to Sam Smith, Chair 
man of the Senate s finance committee, a friend of the Bank, 
that the best means of correcting this would be " for some 
Committee of Congress to negative the assumption that the 
currency is unsound." 33 That part of the message relative 
to the Bank had been referred in the House of Repre 
sentatives to the Ways and Means Committee, of which 
George McDuffie, Calhoun s friend, was chairman. Know- 

29 Niles Register, vol. xxxvii, p. 275. 

30 Ibid., pp. 275, 367. 

31 John Catron to Donelson, December 31, 1829, Donelson MSS. 

32 Alfred Balch to Jackson, January 7, 1830, Jackson MSS. 

33 Biddle to Sam Smith, January 2, 1830, Letter Book. 


ing this, Biddle wrote Joseph Hemphill, a Philadelphia 
Congressman, suggesting that this committee in its report 
on the message should negative the President s assertion, 
and promised to supply the committee with all the informa 
tion necessary for the purpose. 34 Not content with this, 
he wrote to Daniel Webster, his attorney, friend and ally in 
the Senate, " I wish you could give a gentle impulse to the 
Committee of Ways & Means." 35 Furthermore, in reply to 
Senator Smith s request for information as to the currency, 
Biddle not only supplied it but drafted and sent an outline 
for the Senate committee s report on the subject. 36 The 
president of the Bank here embarked on a policy which 
would irretrievably prevent friendly relations between the 
President and the institution, even had Jackson had nothing 
else against it, and which set at naught all Biddle s dis 
claimers that the Bank did not and must not dabble in pol 
itics. On March 29, and April 13, 1830, the Senate Finance 
and House Ways and Means Committees rendered their 
respective reports to Congress. As to the national cur 
rency, Senator Smith s committee reported it to be thor 
oughly and entirely sound and appended some replies of 
Biddle s to questions on the subject of the Bank s operations 
and services. 37 McDuffie s committee, reporting specifically 
on the part of Jackson s message relative to the Bank, stated 
that it was constitutional, was necessary to the point of being 
indispensable, had " furnished a currency more uniform than 
specie " and ended by pronouncing the substitute suggested 
by the President wholly undesirable. 38 

The Bank s friends were overjoyed. Biddle had thou 
sands of copies of these two reports printed both in news 
papers and in pamphlet form. These he sent to his branches 

34 Biddle to Joseph Hemphill, December 13, 14, 18, 1829, Letter 

35 Biddle to Webster, February 3, 1830, Letter Book. 

w Biddle to Sam Smith, January 18, 25, 1830, Letter Book. 

37 Niles Register, vol. xxxviii, pp. 126-128. 

38 Ibid., pp. 183-196. 


all over the country with instructions to circulate them 
widely. 39 He also paid John Norvall, a Philadelphia hack 
writer, publisher and politician, $200 for an article analyzing 
McDuffie s report. 40 His object in thus circulating propa 
ganda was " so that it will be read as widely as the Presi 
dent s message of which it is a natural . . . antidote."* 1 
Had he known that Jackson was provoked at the reports, 
especially McDuffie s, believed the Bank responsible for in 
fluencing Congress to produce them and regarded the insti 
tution therefore as a " hydra of corruption so dangerous to 
our liberties," 42 Biddle might have been more cautious. 

Having scattered this propaganda far and wide, 43 Biddle 
became very properly uneasy as to how Jackson might take 
it. He was not at all reassured by a rumor which reached 
him to the effect that Jackson had said that he would veto 
a bill for recharter should Congress pass one. He voiced 
this uneasiness to Lewis but the latter assured him that it 
was unfounded. 44 

This rumor was not his only ground for uneasiness. He 
had been warned of Van Buren s hostility to the Bank by 
Alexander Hamilton, 45 whose brother James was deep in the 
counsels of Van Buren and Jackson, and had written the 
part of the latter s message aimed against the Bank. 46 
Biddle knew from the newspapers that Van Buren had 
spent a few days in Richmond, Virginia, purpose unknown. 47 
About the 2ist of June, 1830, Biddle received a letter from 
Henry Clay written in reply to one from Biddle. Speaking 

39 Biddle to Samuel Frothingham, May 27, 1830; to James White, 
May 31, 1830; to Sam Smith, April 5, 8, June 26, 1830; to McDuffie, 
April 19, May 10, 1830, Letter Book. 

40 Biddle to John Norvall, June 13, 1830, Letter Book. 

41 Biddle to Sam Smith, April 5, 8, 1830, Letter Book. 

42 Hamilton, Reminiscences, pp. 164, 167. 

43 Biddle to Sam Smith, April 22, 1830; to Lewis, May 8, 1830; 
to Edward Livingston, May 27, 1830, Letter Book. 

44 Lewis to Biddle, May 25, 1830, Biddle MSS. 

45 Hamilton to Biddle, December 10, 1829, Biddle MSS. 

46 Hamilton, Reminiscences, pp. 149, 150. 

47 Miles Register, vol. xxxvii, pp. 172-173, 177- 


of the effect of the widespread publication of the congres 
sional reports relative to the Bank, Clay said that though 
they might do much to avert " the attack meditated on the B. 
of the U. S., you must not indulge the belief that it will es 
cape assault. Unless I am deceived, by information, re 
ceived from one of the most intelligent citizens of Vir 
ginia, 48 the plan was laid at Richmond during a recent visit 
made to that place by the Sec y of State last autumn, to 
make the destruction of the Bank the basis of the next 
Presidential election. The message of the President, and 
other indications, are the supposed consequences of that 
plan." 49 How correct Clay was cannot be definitely de 
termined. Van Buren had been in Richmond at the time 
named; his political relations with the Junto were close; 
Virginia, leader of the strict construction States, was un 
favorable to the Bank ; before the date of Van Buren s visit 
Jackson was certainly hostile to the institution and at that 
time was doubtless drafting his message relative to it. These 
circumstances taken collectively indicate a strong degree of 
probability that Clay was correct in his information and 

Biddle now tried another means of sounding and concil 
iating the President. Knowing the latter s impending visit 
to the Hermitage, 50 on June 22 he wrote to Josiah Nicholl, 
cashier of his branch at Nashville, to take advantage of the 
President s visit to remove his errors and honest doubts 
regarding the Bank and if possible to discover his attitude 
toward recharter. 51 Nicholl was well known to Jackson 
and did his best. He tendered the latter apartments at his 
Nashville home in which the President stayed for two days. 
During this time Nicholl " did not neglect the subject of 
your letter I enforced every argument that I could make 

48 Most probably Judge Francis Brooke ; cf. Clay to Brooke, May 
23, 1830, Clay, Correspondence, pp. 270-271. 
* 9 Clay to Biddle, June 14, 1830, Biddle MSS. 
50 Niles Register, vol. xxxviii, pp. 290, 327. 
61 Biddle to Josiah Nicholl, June 22, 1830, Letter Book. 


bear on the subject or that could be of any service in re 
moving his prejudice. ... I have taken considerable pains 
and gave him all the information I consistently could on 
Banking subjects. ... I am well convinced that he will not 
interfere with Congress on the subject of renewing the 
Charter of the Bank." He added, however, that the Presi 
dent was not very communicative on the subject. 52 

Nicholl mistook Jackson completely. Less than a week 
after leaving Nicholl s house Jackson wrote to a supporter 
in Ohio relative to the Bank "that it should be merely a 
national Bank of deposit . . . this is all the kind of a bank 
that a republic should have But if to be made a bank of 
Discount as well as of deposit I would frame its charter 
upon the checks of our govt & attach it to, & make a part 
of the revenue, & expose its situation as part annually to 
the nation, the profits of which would then accrue to the 
whole people, instead of a few monied capitalists, who are 
trading upon our revenue, & enjoy the benefits of it, to the 
exclusion of the many." 53 

Nicholl s letter reassured Biddle as to Jackson s attitude 
to such an extent that he began to consider applying for 
recharter at the coming session of Congress. 54 Before he 
could make a move, however, a long well reasoned letter 
from Clay gave him pause. Clay reaffirmed positively his 
belief " That a strong party, headed by Mr. Van Buren, 
some Virginia politicians, and the Richmond Enquirer, in 
tend ... to make the Bank question the basis of the next 
presidential election," that applying for recharter at the ap 
proaching session of Congress would play into their hands 
since they would merely postpone the application until the 
long session, 1831-1832, and so make certain of it as a cam 
paign issue. Clay further gave it as his opinion that the 
Bank should defer application until immediately following 
the presidential election. 55 

52 Nicholl to Biddle, July 20, 1830, Biddle MSS. 

53 Jackson to Moses Dawson, July 17, 1830, Jackson MSS. 

54 Biddle to Gallatin, September 9, 1830, Letter Book. 
65 Clay to Biddle, September 11, 1830, Biddle MSS. 


What Clay s underlying motive was for volunteering this 
advice, especially as contrasted with his later course, is not 
clear. It may have been disinterested friendship for Biddle 
and the Bank ; it may have been that he hoped to defeat Jack 
son in 1832 his campaign having been recently launched 
and so acquire the credit for himself of rechartering the 
Bank. Though Biddle was skeptical as to the purpose of 
Van Buren s Richmond trip in the previous November, 
Clay s letter seems to have convinced him, for he wrote the 
latter some six weeks later concurring in his reasoning as to 
the inadvisability of making a move for recharter at that 
time. 56 

Continuing his course of innocently offending Jackson, 
Biddle had just finished a bargain with Albert Gallatin 
whereby the latter was to write an article on banks and cur 
rency for which Biddle was to supply the needed informa 
tion and to pay $1,000 for the Bank s right to publish, 57 
when he was rudely awakened from his belief in Jackson s 
changed views by the President s second annual message. 
Calmly ignoring the opinion of Congress as voiced through 
Smith s and McDuffie s reports, Jackson again called atten 
tion to the question of rechartering the Bank, stated that 
nothing had occurred to lessen the dangers apprehended 
from it, briefly outlined his preferred substitute a strictly 
national bank, to be a branch of the Treasury and al 
leged, as an appeal to the States, that increased financial 
strength would accrue to their local banks as the result of 
such a measure. 58 

Biddle was awake at last to Jackson s hostility. "We 
shall have a great struggle with our worthy President," he 
wrote Gallatin, "& altho I have no fear of the result, it 

56 Biddle to Clay, November 3, 1830; cf. Biddle to Robert Hunter, 
November 3, 1830, Letter Book. 

57 Biddle to Gallatin, June 26, December 6 ; to James Robertson, 
November 20, 1830, Letter Book. 

58 Richardson, Messages and Papers, vol. ii, pp. 528-529. 


will require great caution and vigilance." 59 " The Presi 
dent has now sounded the tocsin of alarm to the State Legis 
latures. The Bank at this moment is in their hands for 
if they choose to issue instructions they will force the mem 
bers of Congress to vote against the Bank." He added that 
he intended to send literature favorable to the Bank "to 
every member of every State Legislature." 80 Nor did the 
energetic Bank president expect to stop there. To his Bos 
ton publisher he wrote :" It is ... obvious that we shall 
have to make an appeal to the reason of the Country from 
the passions of its party leaders. Be it so. I have too much 
confidence in the sense of my Countrymen to doubt for a 
moment the result of that struggle : & our chief difficulty will 
be to place within reach of every citizen the materials of 
furnishing his own opinion. This shall be done." 61 

Here is plainly set forth Biddle s plan of campaign in the 
struggle for recharter; namely, by the widespread circula 
tion of propaganda to induce the state legislatures and the 
voters back of them to support the Bank. It was a plan 
which displayed Biddle s utter ignorance of his countrymen 
outside of the cultured Federalist-National Republican part 
of the East in which he himself moved. He had already 
made two serious mistakes, the first in his letter to Ingham 
which stirred Jackson s latent hostility, the second in scat 
tering far and wide Smith s and McDuffie s reports. He 
now decided upon the fatal one of contesting before the 
country the issue of recharter, and with Andrew Jackson of 
all men. This last mistake was based on two fundamental 
misconceptions a total failure to comprehend Jackson s 
strength with the masses, and the assumption that these 
masses formed their opinions on public questions through 
intelligent reading and reflection. 

It was soon made evident to Biddle that the fight with the 
administration would be vigorously prosecuted by its sup- 

59 Biddle to Gallatin. December 28, 1830, Letter Book. 

eo lbid., January i, 1831. 

61 Biddle to P. P. F. Degrand, December 22, 1830, Letter Book. 


porters. Almost simultaneously with Jackson s message 
came an attack on the Bank in the Governor of Alabama s 
message to his legislature. 62 From a friend in Congress 
came the information that Jackson had said relative to the 
Bank "he would be d d if he did not pull its damned 
neck off yet." 63 In Congress a move to refer that part of 
the message relative to the Bank to a specially appointed 
committee instead of to the friendly Ways and Means Com 
mittee was defeated by the Bank s friends by forty-three 
votes. 64 Early in February, 1831, Benton delivered in the 
Senate a long speech against the Bank and then asked leave 
to introduce a resolution against it, but was refused, 23 votes 
to 2 1. 65 The newly established Globe and other Jackson- 
ian papers thundered against the Bank in chorus. 

It was at this juncture that the Bank question began 
really to be identified with the National Republican party. 66 
This was fundamentally due to several causes. First, the su 
perior culture, education and wealth of a large percentage 
of the National Republican leaders made them especially 
amenable to the Bank s propaganda. The second cause 
was the composition of the National Republican party it 
self. Made up of former Federalists and of the most na 
tionalistic wing of the old Republican party it could naturally 
see nothing but good in an efficient, highly centralized insti 
tution such as the Bank. The third cause was the personal 
friendship of most of the National Republican leaders for 
Biddle and his institution. Prominent among these was a 
group of Philadelphians John Binns, John Sergeant, 
Thomas Cadwalader, Horace Binney, Charles Jared Inger- 
soll, Robert Walsh and John Norvall most of whom were 
connected with the Bank in a legal or literary capacity. In 
addition to these John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Daniel 

82 R. L. Colt to Biddle, December 16, 1830, Biddle MSS. 
63 Crowninshield to Biddle, December 17, 1830, Biddle MSS. 
84 Debates in Congress, 2ist Cong., 2nd sess., p. 350 ff. 
65 Henry Toland to Biddle, February 2, 1831, Biddle MSS. 
86 Cf. Hammond, vol. ii, p. 350. 


Webster, James Barbour, Richard Rush, Samuel Southard 
and Peter B. Porter, all national leaders of the party, re 
garded the Bank with unmixed approval and saw in it noth 
ing but a good influence. 

Other circumstances, however, were more immediately 
operative in identifying the Bank with the National Repub 
lican cause. The party leaders were on the alert for a bet 
ter pivotal campaign issue than the unpromising subject of 
internal improvements, and to them the Bank looked most 
promising. At this time February, 1831 the Jackson- 
Calhoun controversy was ready to be sprung upon the public. 
Calhoun had formerly been as nationalistic as Clay himself 
and was still supposed to be friendly to the Bank. Hence 
National Republican leaders hoped for a secession of Cal- 
hounites to their party, 67 and perhaps for a schism in the 
Democratic party which would result in a large fraction of 
it joining them in the effort to defeat Jackson. 68 Further 
more, Biddle s propaganda had already placed the Bank be 
fore the country and Jackson s second message had appealed 
to the States to take sides. The action of the Governor of 
Alabama was one of the effects. During the first three 
months of 1831, National Republican local conventions and 
caucuses were nominating Clay and recommending a party 
nominating convention. This was particularly true of 
Massachusetts, Maine and Connecticut, in which the Bank 
was specifically endorsed and named with the " American 
System " as part of the party program. 69 

Thus, despite his disclaimers and although he seems to 
have been oblivious to the fact, Biddle s Bank was already 
much involved in party politics. He now proceeded to in 
volve it still more. Working through Charles J. Ingersoll, 
then a member of the Pennsylvania legislature, and supple- 

67 Colt to Biddle, January 29, 1831 ; John Sergeant to Biddle, 
February 19, 1831, Biddle MSS. 

68 Sergeant to Biddle, February 16, 1831, Biddle MSS. 
69 D-egrand to Biddle, February 18, 24, March 5, 1831, Biddle 



menting him with John Norvall, 70 he began a vigorous effort 
to get resolutions passed by that body declaring in favor of 
the Bank. His object was to counteract a similar but hostile 
move from the New York legislature and thus to put the 
administration in fear of losing Pennsylvania. 71 His two 
lieutenants, with considerable indirect aid from him, suc 
ceeded in getting the desired resolution passed by a vote of 
75 to n, about the end of March. 72 Meanwhile the Regency 
had introduced into the New York legislature a resolution 
putting that body on record as opposed to rechartering the 
Bank, and, in spite of a vigorous lobby engineered by Biddle 
through Silas Burrows, 73 passed it early in April by a strict 
party vote. 74 

The battle thus joined, Biddle became more energetic than 
ever. He urged Webster to reply 75 to Benton s speech above 
mentioned, and when this was not done he himself prepared 
a reply "to be circulated widely throughout the United 
States." 76 His principal organs of publicity were the Na 
tional [Philadelphia] Gazette, the New York American, the 
National Intelligencer, and Duff Green s Telegraph. In 
order to reach the Pennsylvania electorate more effectively, 
he made efforts to secure lists of individuals in the State in 
order to send them favorable information. 77 

All this propaganda was paid for by the Bank. An ex 
pense book among Biddle s papers shows that the president 
was first authorized verbally by the directors at a meeting 
in 1830 to print and circulate widely Smith s and McDuffie s 
reports and Gallatin s article. This expending power Biddle 
found to be insufficient and at another directors meeting, 

70 Norvall to Biddle, March 2, 3, 11, 1831, Biddle MSS. 

71 Biddle to Ingersolf, February 21 23, March 3, 1831 ; Ingersoll 
to Biddle, March 11, 1831, Biddle MSS. 

Ingersoll to Biddle, March 26, 1831, Biddle MSS. 
78 Silas E. Burrows to Biddle, March 7, 22, 31, April 2, 5, 7, n, 
1831, Biddle MSS. 

74 Hammond, vol. ii, pp. 350-352 ; G. C. Verplanck to Biddle, 
April 28, 1831, Biddle MSS. 

75 Biddle to Webster, January 30, 1831, Letter Book. 
70 Biddle to James Hunter, May 4, 1831, Letter Book. 
77 Biddle to Norvall, March 5, 1831, Letter Book. 


March ii, 1831, " He suggested . . . the expediency ... of 
extending still more widely a knowledge of the concerns of 
this Institution by means of the republication of other val 
uable articles which had issued from the daily and periodical 
press." He was at once given carte blanche to this end. 78 
The itemized entries in this book for printing and circulating 
the reports of Smith and McDuffie, Gallatin s article and 
other literature on the Bank total, from January i, 1830, to 
the end of June, 1831, $14,378.14. 

The cabinet changes in 1831 put into office men much 
more favorable to the Bank ; Edward Livingston in the State 
Department, Louis McLane in the Treasury and Lewis Cass 
in the War Department were all friends of the institution, 
especially the two first. 79 Woodbury of the Navy Depart 
ment was non-committal, while Barry of the old cabinet and 
Roger B. Taney, the new Attorney-General, sided with Jack 
son. The entire "Kitchen Cabinet/ excepting Lewis, was 
solidly against the Bank. 80 

Of the cabinet friends of the Bank, McLane was the most 
active. He conferred with Biddle in Washington and again 
in Philadelphia later in 1831, concerning the Bank and its 
prospects for recharter. 81 In the latter of these conferences, 
he told Biddle that in his approaching annual report as to 
the condition of the Treasury he expected to speak favorably 
of the Bank and of its recharter in preference to a new insti 
tution. He said that he had stated these intentions to the 
President, had explained them to him at length and that the 
latter had made no objection beyond a remark that he hoped 
the Bank issue would not be forced upon him at the ap- 

78 Expense book among the Biddle Papers in the Library of Con 

78 Hamilton to Van Buren, December 23, 1831, Van Buren MSS. ; 
Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 593-594- 

80 Robert M. Gibbes to Biddle, December 11, Cadwalader to 
Biddle, December 26, 1831, Biddle MSS. 

81 Asbury Dickins to Biddle, September 19, Wm. Mcllvame to 
Biddle, September 26, 1831, Biddle MSS.; memorandum in Biddle s 
hand dated October 19, 1831. 


preaching session of Congress. 82 McLane said further that 
Livingston had been present at this conference with Jackson 
and that the two Secretaries had induced the President to 
say in his coming message that " having previously brought 
the subject to Congress he now leaves it with them." Mc 
Lane continued that, while the President was fully confident 
of his reelection, he desired it to be by a greater majority than 
in 1828, and hence was loath to be forced to act on the Bank 
question at all until after his election but would probably 
veto it should it be forced upon him at the coming session. 83 

The news of the new cabinet s friendliness had spread 
rapidly and was not without effect upon the Bank s stock 
holders, who held their triennial meeting on September i, 
1831. At this meeting Biddle and the Bank directors were 
especially authorized to apply for recharter of the institution 
any time within the next three years that they might deem 
best. 84 In addition to this Biddle was deluged with letters 
from those interested in the institution, suggesting, urging, 
insisting that the coming session of Congress was the most 
auspicious time for making application. 83 

True to what he had told Biddle, McLane in his report 
spoke highly of the Bank s services in the past, of its indis 
pensable utility to the government, and decidedly in favor 
of the renewal of its charter with substantially no changes. 86 
At the same time Jackson s third annual message was capable 
of being construed as indicative of a change in his opinions 
in regard to the Bank ; it was equally, however, open to the 
construction that, while his own views were unchanged, he 
would abide by the decision of Congress in regard to re- 
chartering the institution. 87 The uncertainty as to Jackson s 

82 The last session of Congress before the presidential election 
in 1832. 

83 Memorandum in Biddle s hand dated October 19, 1831, Biddle 

8 *Niles Register, vol. xli. pp. 118-119. 

85 Colt to Biddle, October 5, 7, Degrand to Biddle, October 9, J. 
Cowperthwait to Biddle, November 5, 1831, Biddle MSS. 

86 Niles Register, vol. xli, pp. 288-290. 

87 Richardson, Messages and Papers, vol. ii, p. 588. 


real attitude seemed removed by McLane s report, and a 
rumor was speedily abroad in the East and South that the 
President had changed his views and would not oppose the 
recharter of the Bank. 88 The message was not all that 
Biddle had hoped for and this, with the continued hostile 
tone of the administration press, still caused him uneasiness. 89 
His friends and well wishers in Washington, particularly 
McLane and Sam Smith, assured him that all was well but 
that it would be dangerous to press recharter upon Jackson 
until after the election, as he would be likely to veto it were 
it thrust upon him now. 90 

What were Jackson "s real views on the subject? Profes 
sor Catterall in his " Second Bank of the United States " 
fell into the error of believing that Jackson at this time was 
favorable to the recharter of the Bank with some modifica 
tions. Jackson s rumored change of attitude, the ambiguity 
in his message, and McLane s report as to the Bank caused 
great uneasiness among his States Rights supporters in Vir 
ginia and South Carolina. John Randolph of Roanoke 
wrote to Jackson earnestly desiring to know if the report 
were true, and stated that he himself had steadily refused to 
believe it. To this Jackson replied : 

You have done me no more than justice when you repel with 
indignation the charge that I had changed my views of the Bank 
of the United States, nothing more foreign to truth could have 
been said. As at present organized I have uniformly on all proper 
occasions held the same language in regard to that institution; and 
that is that it has failed to answer the ends for which it was 
created, and besides being unconstitutional, in which point of view, 
no measure of utility could ever procure my official sanction, it is 
on the score of mere expediency dangerous to liberty, and therefore, 
worthy of the denunciation which it has received from the disciples 
of the old republican school. 

He added that McLane s report had been made on the 
Secretary s own authority with no intention of committing 

88 Hamilton to Van Buren, December 7, 1831, Van Buren MSS.; 
John Randolph to Jackson, December 19, 1831, Jackson MSS.; 
Niles Register, vol. xli, p. 325. 

89 Biddle to Dickins, December 20, 1831, Letter Book. 

90 Sam Smith to Biddle, December 7, 11, 1831, Biddle MSS. 


the Executive, and " in doing this he has spoken for himself 
and has not committed me, and I feel confident that he is the 
last man who would desire to commit me on such a sub 
ject." 91 

That this determination to remain uncommitted, but never 
theless hostile, on the subject of the Bank s future existence, 
was not a mere momentary whim but a definite policy which 
Jackson intended to follow doubtless with a view to post 
poning the question until after the election is shown by the 
following from his letter to Van Buren written the day after 
his message reached Congress. Enclosing to Van Buren a 
copy of the message and referring to the Secretary of the 
Treasury s report, he said, " You will find McLane differs 
with me on the Bank, still it is an honest difference of opin 
ion, and in his report he acts fairly by leaving me free and 
uncommitted, this I will be on that subject/ 92 

These passages show plainly that Jackson was consistently 
hostile to the Bank but preferred to remain uncommitted on 
the subject. His reason for this was probably twofold. In 
the first place he desired reelection by a larger majority than 
in 1828. Second, he hoped to pay off the last of the national 
debt by March 4, 1833, and to that end was considering the 
sale to the Bank of the government s 70,000 shares of stock ; 
hence he would naturally be loath to cause any depreciation 
of those shares by open hostility to the Bank at this time. 93 

Late in November, 1831, Biddle had come to no decision 
as to applying for recharter at the approaching session of 
Congress, 94 but was considering the advisability of doing so. 
At this time National Republican prospects were emphatically 
dark. Clay himself recognized the party s need for some- 

91 Randolph to Jackson, December 19, 1831, Jackson to Randolph, 
December 22, 1831, Jackson MSS. 

92 Jackson to Van Buren, December 6, 1831, Van Buren MSS. 

63 Cf. Memorandum in Biddle s hand of conversation with Mc 
Lane, dated October 19, 1831, Biddle MSS.; cf. Jackson to Van 
Buren, November 14, McLane to Van Buren, December 14, 1831, 
Van Buren MSS. 

94 Biddle to Silsbee, November 21, 1831, Biddle MSS. 


thing to "turn up ... to give a brighter aspect to our 
affairs." 95 The party convention at Baltimore which nom 
inated Clay, in its address to the people, clearly and definitely 
identified the recharter of the Bank with the party s govern 
mental program, 96 thus carrying a step further the similar 
action by several state conventions earlier in the year. 97 
Even after his nomination at Baltimore, Clay was far from 
cheerful as to the outlook. 98 With no better issue in sight 
than that of internal improvements at national expense, the 
party s position was sufficiently uncomfortable, as the re 
moval of the Indians, the tariff and nullification were either 
unsuitable or unavailable. 

Fully realizing this the National Republicans began efforts 
to secure the Bank as the much needed central issue. To 
have it available, it was necessary that the Bank should ask 
for recharter at the current session of Congress. The insti 
tution s memorial for recharter once presented, one or all of 
several things would work to their advantage. The ques 
tion of recharter might cause a disastrous split among the 
Democrats, 99 since a considerable number of them in Con 
gress and out especially in Pennsylvania were friendly to 
the Bank. Should Jackson veto a bill to that effect, it would 
supply the very issue which seemed to offer the best chance 
for defeating him. In any event such a bill s passage through 
Congress would enable them to act as its friends and spon 
sors and so identify themselves with the country s most 
powerful financial interests. 

No sooner was Clay s election to the Senate certain, 100 
than his opinion as to the advisability of the Bank deferring 

95 Clay to Brooke, December 9, 1831, Clay, Correspondence, p. 

96 Journal of the Baltimore National Republican Convention. 

97 National Intelligencer, February 24, March 7, 1831. 

98 Clay to Brooke, December 25, 1831, Clay, Correspondence, pp. 

"Edward Everett to Biddle, December 14, Biddle to Gibbes, 
December 13, 1831, Biddle MSS. 

100 He was elected by Kentucky legislature in November, 1831, 
and took his seat in December. 


its application for recharter until after the presidential elec 
tion underwent a radical change. 101 He wrote Biddle from 
Washington, December 15, asking if the latter had decided 
what course he would take as to application at the current 
session and added : " The friends of the friends of the Bank 
here, with whom I have conferred, seem to expect the appli 
cation to be made." He stated further that while Jackson s 
course in such event was uncertain, he himself believed that 
the President would sign a bill for recharter now, but would 
probably veto one after reelection. 102 Not content with this, 
two days later Clay called on S. H. Smith, president of 
Biddle s Washington branch, and reiterated the same views 
more strongly, adding that should the Bank refuse to apply 
for recharter now, such action might be regarded by its 
friends among the opposition in Congress as a step un 
friendly to them. 103 

Clay was by no means alone in thus urging this course upon 
the Bank. Other prominent leaders of the party in and out 
of Congress joined in the clamor. Prominent among these 
were Edward Everett, Edward Shippen of Kentucky, 
Charles F. Mercer of Virginia, Daniel Webster, William 
Creighton, Dearborn of Massachusetts, and John Williams 
of Tennessee. 104 

Biddle would not be committed thus hastily however. 
Unable to go himself, he sent his confidential agent and di 
rector, Thomas Cadwalader, to Washington about Decem 
ber 20, to reconnoiter the situation carefully and to ascertain 
upon what support in Congress the Bank could rely should 
it now request recharter. Cadwalader spent some ten days 
at the capital and wrote Biddle his observations almost daily. 

101 John Tilford to Biddle, November 11, 1831, Biddle MSS. 

102 Clay to Biddle, December 15, 1831, Biddle MSS. 

103 S. H. Smith to Biddle, December 17, 1831, Biddle MSS. 

104 Everett to Biddle, December 5, Edward Shippen to Biddle, 
December 6, Mercer to Biddle, December 12, Biddle to Cadwalader, 
December 18, 24, Creighton to Cadwalader, December 30, Biddle 
to Cadwalader, December 27, 1831, Williams to Biddle, January 8, 
1832, Biddle MSS. 


He made a careful canvass of both Senate and House. He 
conferred with McLane, Sam Smith, Dallas and other well 
wishers of the Bank who were administration supporters, 
all of whom advised him that application at the current ses 
sion would mean certain veto from Jackson. 105 He likewise 
consulted Webster and other Clay leaders and found them 
very eager, for party reasons, that the Bank should apply at 
once. 106 

Biddle placed most confidence in McDuffie, 107 Calhoun s 
friend, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and 
with him Cadwalader worked in closest confidence. Their 
joint poll of Congress indicated a majority of twenty in the 
House and of about three in the Senate favorable to re- 
charter at the present session. Such being the case, wrote 
Cadwalader, " McDuffie leans in favor of going it now and 
so do I." After stating that the advice of Webster and other 
Clay men was for immediate application, but being colored 
by party feeling must be discounted somewhat, he continued : 

We have full confidence in McL s candour as to his belief that 
Jackson will put on his veto but the old Gent m may shake in his 
intentions and, if he return the Bill, he may state objections that 
perhaps may be yielded to by us. . . . We might be blamed [by the 
stockholders] for losing this session (the long one -moreover) & 
tho we go counter to the administration men who are interested 
in postponing, we keep the other party with us some of whom w d 
be lukewarm; Webster w d be cold, perhaps hostile, if we bend to 
the Govt influence. 108 

After another conference with McLane, Sam Smith and 
McDuffie, at which the two former reiterated the wisdom of 
postponing application, Cadwalader returned to Philadelphia 
and reported as follows : 

i. The p l w d be at least as likely to sign now, as at any future 
time tho all the information I have got leads me to the belief 
that he will never sign 2. If he is to ... veto, the sooner the 
country knows it the better the astounding effect will have time to 
operate ... a vote of 2/3d being then our only chance, the general 

105 Cadwalader to Biddle, December 21, 22, 23, 1831, Biddle MSS. 

106 Ibid., December 25, 1831, Biddle MSS. 

107 Biddle to Cadwalader, December 23, 1831, Biddle MSS. 

108 Cadwalader to Biddle, December 25, 1831, Biddle MSS. 


alarm ringing through the Nation will probably secure it. ... Mc- 
Duffie, who has heard all the Secy s arguments for postponing, 
agrees with me entirely in recommending an imme. application . . . 
if we lose this session, he says, . . . our fate is certain starting 
now he has great hopes of eventual success by the 2/3ds if the P- 
sh d veto. 109 

Acting on this recommendation from Cadwalader as the 
result of the latter s investigations, Biddle and the directors 
at once drew up a memorial asking for recharter, forwarded 
it to Congress January 6, 1832, where it was presented by 
Dallas in the Senate January 9, 110 and by McDuffie in the 
House on the same day. 111 The Bank would have preferred 
Webster as the man to present its memorial in the Senate, 
but because of his party associations thought it wiser to 
bring up the matter through Dallas, on account of the effect 
which his being a Jackson man and from Pennsylvania 
might be expected to have. 112 

In letters to Sam Smith and James Watson Webb, Biddle 
stated the Bank s reasons for making present applications 
for recharter as follows: (i) The unanimous wish of the 
stockholders. (2) His own belief that the present was the 
best time, since unless the present Congress acted upon it, 
no recharter could possibly be obtained before March, 1834, 
a time too near the expiration of the old charter 1836 to 
permit the institution to close up its affairs satisfactorily 
should its recharter be refused. He added that the Bank 
took this step now, regardless of the politicians on one side 
who wished to postpone it until after election, and those on 
the other who wished to precipitate it. 113 

For all Biddle s disclaimers that political bias had any 
weight in impelling the Bank s action, it is impossible to read 

109 Undated note in pencil, addressed to Biddle, signed " T. C," 
and unmistakably from Cadwalader, after his return to Philadel 

110 Biddle to Sam Smith, January 4, Dallas to Biddle January 9, 
1832, Biddle MSS. ; Biddle to Dallas, January 6, 1832, Letter Book. 

111 Biddle to McDuffie, January 6, 1832, Letter Book ; Niles Reg 
ister, vol. xli, p. 363. 

* 12 Cadwalader to Biddle, December 26, 1831, Biddle MSS. 
113 Biddle to Sam Smith, January 4, 1832, Biddle MSS. ; Biddle 
to Webb, January 5, 1832, Letter Book. 


Cadwalader s letters to him during the latter part of Decem 
ber, 1831, without being convinced that, although the pres 
sure from Webster and other Clay leaders was not the prime 
factor in producing the decision for an immediate move for 
recharter, it certainly was not without force in contributing 
to that result. Thus the Bank was irretrievably committed 
as an election issue, and on the side of the National Repub 
licans. Only one thing more was needed to make of it all 
that this party wanted a veto by Jackson. 

During the next six months Biddle employed every re 
source to arouse public opinion and to produce pressure upon 
Congress in favor of renewal. He at once wrote to every 
branch officer to make vigorous effort to get the citizens, and 
state banks if possible, in his locality to petition Congress 
for a recharter of the Bank of the United States. 114 He 
wrote to friends of the institution in all directions urging 
them to like exertions. 115 Unable to go in person, he sent 
the Bank s counsel, Horace Binney, an able lawyer, to stay 
in Washington and supply Dallas and McDuffie with any 
desired information. 116 He supplemented Binney with 
Charles J. Ingersoll, who remained in Washington for about 
two months. 117 He was persistent in his exhortations to 
McLane, Dallas, Binney and Ingersoll, urging, conceding, 
willing to agree to any modification of the charter which 
Jackson might desire. 118 Through the press he was inces 
santly active. Working through Webb s Courier and En 
quirer, Gales and Seaton s National Intelligencer, Walsh s 
National Gazette and Duff Green s Telegraph to all of 
whom the Bank made large loans during 1831 and 1832 119 

114 The letters in Biddle s Letter Book, latter half of January, 

115 Biddle to William B. Astor, January 16, to Robt. Oliver, Jan 
uary 16, to John Sergeant, January 18, 1832, Letter Book. 

116 Binney to Biddle, January 20, 23, 1832, Biddle MSS. ; Biddle to 
Dallas, February 18, 1832, Letter Book. 

117 Ingersoll to Biddle, January 26, 1832, Biddle MSS.; Biddle to 
Ingersoll, March 4, 1832, Letter Book. 

118 Biddle to Binney, February 6, 13, to Ingersoll, February 6, 13, 
1832, Letter Book. 

1 19 22nd Cong., ist sess., H. Rept. No. 460, pp. 86, 87, 108-110. 


he had thousands of extra copies of these papers and of pam 
phlets containing congressional speeches in favor of the Bank 
printed and distributed. Near the end of March he made 
a hasty trip to Washington himself 12 and in May he went 
again and remained for some weeks. 121 Excluding the thou 
sands of dollars in loans to friendly newspapers, on supposed 
good security, his direct expenditures for propaganda were 
comparatively light during this period, amounting, so far as 
can be definitely ascertained, to about $2,150 for the first six 
months of the year. 121 

In all these efforts for recharter Biddle was honestly 
working solely for his institution and without any desire to 
advance the cause of the National Republicans thereby. In 
deed, could he have obtained Jackson s assent by making al 
most any concession to the President s opinion in the bill re- 
chartering the Bank, he would gladly have done so regardless 
of the effect upon Clay s chances for election. That this 
was truly the case is shown by his letters of February 6, n, 
and 13 to Ingersoll. In the first of these he urged Dallas 
and Ingersoll, armed with some recent resolutions of the 
Pennsylvania legislature in favor of the Bank, to induce the 
President to adopt the Bank bill, then pending in Congress, 
as his own measure on the ground that it appeared to be the 
will of the people, and thus obtain the credit for rechartering 
it. 122 In the letters of the nth and I3th he wrote to the 
same effect, disclaimed all interest in politics, asserted that 
his main object was to preserve the Bank, 123 that all other 
considerations were insignificant and that he cared " nothing 
about the election. " 124 

It was speedily made apparent to Biddle that he would 
have no easy time getting his bill through Congress. As 
soon as McDuffie brought up the Bank s memorial in the 

120 Biddle to McDuffie, April 3, 1832, Letter Book. 

121 Biddle to Webster, May 5, to Cadwalader, June 9, 1832, Biddle 

122 Biddle to Ingersoll, February 6, 1832, Letter Book. 

1 23 Ibid., February n, 1832, Biddle MSS. 

124 Ibid., February 13, 1832, Letter Book. 


House, Wayne of Georgia attempted to identify it with the 
recent National Republican convention in Baltimore, stated 
that it was purely a party measure, presented as it was four 
years before the old charter expired. 125 Cambreleng then 
moved that the memorial be referred to a select committee 
instead of to the friendly Ways and Means Committee 126 
which would be appointed by the Speaker and therefore con 
tain a hostile majority. Such a move would be fraught with 
danger for the Bank, since a long muck-raking investiga 
tion would follow with probable indefinite postponement of 
action. This the Bank s friends succeeded in defeating by a 
vote of 100 to 90, thus leaving the measure with the Ways 
and Means Committee. 127 

Some resolutions in the Pennsylvania legislature request 
ing the State s congressional delegation to work for recharter 
of the Bank, which passed almost unanimously about the 
first of February, 128 warned the Jacksonians that they must 
proceed warily in fighting the bill for recharter. At this 
time Horn, one of that State s congressmen, tried to ascer 
tain from Jackson his sentiments as to the Bank, but "got 
no other satisfaction than a general answer from General 
Jackson that he had already said enough about it." 129 As a 
counter move to the Pennsylvania resolutions, the Albany 
Regency pushed through its legislature a resolution against 
recharter and requested the State s congressmen to oppose 
it. 130 

Ever since December, 1831, the National Republican lead 
ers had been of the opinion that Jackson, as Clay put it, was 
" playing a deep game to avoid, at this session, the respon- 

125 Niles Register, vol. xli, p. 363. 

126 Binney to Biddle, January 26, 1832, Biddle MSS. 

127 John Connell to Biddle, January 10, N. B. Van Zandt to 
Biddle, January 9, 11, 1832, Biddle MSS.; Niles Register, vol. xli, 
PP- 363-366. 

128 John B. Wallace to Biddle, February 3, 1832, Biddle MSS.; 
Niles Register, vol. xli, p. 436. 

129 Ingersoll to Biddle, February 7, 1832, Biddle MSS. 

130 Hammond, vol. ii, pp. 406-407; Niles Register, vol. xlii, p. 77. 


sibility of any decision on the Bank question." 131 In view 
of the rumors then afloat, the anxiety for postponement on 
the part of McLane, Smith and other administration friends 
of the Bank, and Jackson s evasiveness to Horn, there may 
have been some foundation for the belief. Jackson, how 
ever, knew well the will of his party at large as to the Bank, 
and with him that will was apt to be conclusive. The views 
of John Randolph and James Hamilton, Jr., of South Car 
olina, have already been noted, as have those of Judge Catron 
of Tennessee. Two other expressions of opinion reached 
Jackson at about the same time as did theirs. The first, 
froni Willie Blount of Tennessee, with special reference to 
the Bank of the United States, stated: "My notion of all 
banks is, away with their Charters, that sources for corrup 
tion and aristocracy may be lessened." 132 This represented 
the average view of the somewhat uncultured and unin 
formed western Democrat. The second letter, from the son 
of Alexander Hamilton, declared : " I am particularly op 
posed to the renewal of the present Bank for considerations 
arising out of its course & not least because in making ap 
plication at this time it has determined to brave the General 
which it will hereafter do, at any time with success if it 
should be renewed. Give this institution a Charter for 20 
years longer and it is a perpetuity too strong for the gov 
ernment." 133 This represents accurately the ground of op 
position to the Bank of Jackson s better informed eastern 
followers ; namely, that the institution was inexpedient and 
dangerous to liberty. The views of Randolph, referred to 
above, may be taken as typical of the southern opposition on 
constitutional grounds. 

Seeing that the Bank meant to force a recharter bill 
through and that McDuffie meant to keep it under his wing, 

131 Clay to Brooke, December 25, 1831, Clay Correspondence, p. 

132 Willie Blount to Jackson, November I, 1831, Jackson MSS. 

133 James A. Hamilton to Jackson, January 12, 1832, Jackson 


the Jackson leaders in the House, working under Benton s 
direction, secured early in March the appointment of a spe 
cial committee to inquire into the Bank s affairs and man 
agement. 134 This, being appointed by the administration 
Speaker, contained a majority hostile to the Bank. 135 The 
resulting majority report was excellently adapted to party 
purposes ; it found the Bank guilty of subsidizing the press 
by loans, and of other abuses of its position. The minority 
report was nearly the exact opposite of that of the major 
ity, 136 and both were made primarily for effect outside of 

The result of the majority report was to make a presi 
dential veto certain, as Biddle and the Bank s friends real 
ized. 137 Apparently fearing the effect of so doing, Biddle 
would not withdraw the request for recharter and quite 
naturally the National Republicans would not favor the 
step. Accordingly, backed by the efforts of Biddle in per 
son outside of Congress, and by those of Webster and 
McDuffie inside that body, the bill for recharter finally 
passed the House by a vote of 107 to 85, 138 and the Senate 
by a vote of 28 to 2O. 139 This occurred during the first 
days of July, 1832. 

The passage of the bill found Jackson s resolution un 
changed. Two weeks before it occurred he wrote to Van 
Buren that except Taney, Woodbury and Barry, all the heads 
of the departments were for the Bank and added : " The co 
alition [meaning the National Republicans aided by Cal- 
houn s friends] are determined to press the bank & a few 
more internal improvement bills on me at this session. I am 
prepared to meet them as I ought but I want your aid/ 14 

134 Benton, Thirty Years View, vol. i, pp. 235-238. 
135 Ingrsoll to Biddle, March i, Dallas to Biddle, March 15, 1832 
Biddle MSS. 

136 22nd Cong., ist sess., H. Rept. No. 460. 

137 Biddle to Cadwalader, May 30, 1832, Biddle MSS. 

138 Niles Register, vol. xlii, p. 352. 

139 Congressional Debates, 22nd Cong., ist sess., vol. Hi, pt. i, p. 

140 Jackson to Van Buren, June 14, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 


This letter met Van Buren on his arrival in New York 
early in July. He at once hastened to Washington, arriving 
there Saturday night, July 8. 141 He tells us : 

On the night of my . . . appearance at the White House, after 
my return from England, [Jackson was] stretched upon a sick bed 
a specter in physical appearance. . . . Holding my hand in one of 
his own, and passing the other through his long white locks he 
said, with the clearest indications of a mind composed, and in a 
tone entirely devoid of passion or bluster the bank, Mr. Van 
Buren is trying to kill me, but I will kill it. ... If a wish to pro 
pitiate the bank or to avoid its hostility had ever been entertained 
by him he might have gratified it at any moment after his acces 
sion to office. 142 

Jackson returned the bill to Congress with his veto July 
10, and the effort to secure a two-thirds vote failed in the 
Senate, the vote being 22 to ig. 143 The issue was fairly 
joined. The National Republicans had their much needed 
leading issue for the campaign, and the Bank s only hope lay 
in joining them in defeating Jackson at the polls, either in 
his person direct, or by securing two-thirds of the new Con 
gress favorable to recharter. As Sam Smith put it in a letter 
to Jackson, after having urged the President to sign the bill 
if he could possibly see his way clear to doing so, " The 
mooting of the question at the present session was against 
my opinion. It will however have the effect to cause all the 
Election to be contested on the principle of Bank or no 
Bank." 144 

141 Creighton to Biddle, July 10, 1832, Biddle MSS. 

142 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 625. 

143 Creighton to Biddle, July 10, 1832, Biddle MSS. ; Niles Reg 
ister, vol. xlii, pp. 365-368, 378-379. 

144 Sam Smith to Jackson, June 17, 1832, Jackson MSS. 



The presidential campaign of 1832 differed essentially 
from the two immediately preceding it. The former had 
been contests between factions of the old Republican party, 
their issues had been confined chiefly to the personalities of 
the candidates, and the voter had been distinctively known 
as an Adams, a Jackson, a Clay or a Calhoun man, according 
to the leader of his faction. The campaign of 1832 was be 
tween three definitely organized political parties, each with a 
more or less definite governmental program in view, and 
each emphasizing that policy before the personality of its 
candidate. In 1824, and for the most part in 1828 also, cam 
paign issues had been utilized principally for their effect in 
electing the particular candidate supported, rather than for 
themselves as issues ; in 1832 the nominees were entered by 
their respective parties as champions of particular principles, 
these principles taking precedence over the candidates in 
relative importance. 

With the single exception of nullification, Jackson himself 
supplied all the issues on which his campaign for reelection 
was fought and upon which his newly established Democratic 
party rested. In its larger aspects, therefore, the campaign 
was a decisive test before the country of his work and of his 
party s stability as a political organization. The principles 
which were now the campaign issues had, for the most part, 
been evolved with the party during Jackson s first admin 

When elected in 1828, Jackson cannot be said to have been 
the leader of a political party ; his following was too hetero 
geneous for that. At that time, excluding a few Federalists 



and the followers of Adams and Clay, Jackson s support 
embraced all of the old Republican party as it had been in 
Monroe s day. This strength was clearly reflected iii the 
vote for Speaker of the Congress elected with Jackson, when 
Stevenson received 152 votes against 39 for all others. 1 This 
large following was not destined to remain intact and to be 
come in toto the new Democratic party. Such might have 
been the result had Jackson carried on the old Monroe pol 
icies with their leanings toward nationalism. 

The successive development and application of Jackson s 
policy and constitutional views as to removals from office, 
the Indian question, internal improvements, the choice of a 
successor, nullification, and the Bank, made it impossible to 
keep together the following which had elected him in 1828. 
Each of these issues in turn caused the defection of a rela 
tively small number of supporters. The large majority 
which steadfastly supported him through these various se 
cessions, or elimination processes, was the new Democratic 
party properly speaking. All of these questions collectively 
were the issues of the campaign, but the most important and 
the one which was the final test of Jackson s political judg 
ment and leadership, and the principal issue on which the 
contest turned, was the Bank. How the latter came to oc 
cupy the foremost place has already been described. 

After noticing very briefly the effect of the above-men 
tioned issues in reducing Jackson s original following, it will 
be in order to notice the conduct of the Bank and its effect 
on the campaign during the contest s concluding months. 

The chief article in Jackson s political creed was what 
Benton called 2 the demos krateo principle the commons to 
govern and he possessed an intuitive ability to interpret 
that body s will. Jackson himself expressed it thus : " you 
know, I never despair. I have confidence in the virtue & 
good sense of the people." 3 Herein lay his strength during 

1 Niles Register, vol. xxxvii, p. 254. 

2 Benton, vol. i, p. 46. 

3 Jackson to Van Buren, November I, 1830, Van Buren MSS. 


his presidency, both as executive and as party leader.* It 
was in obedience to his honest interpretation of the people s 
will that he reversed his views in i824 5 and inaugurated the 
removal from office of those whom he believed to be the 
political tools which a corrupt administration had used to de 
feat the popular will. 6 In appointing his friends to these 
offices, Jackson merely did what both Clay and Edward 
Everett had strongly advocated during Adams administra 
tion. 7 The removals and appointments, beyond alarming 
Calhoun 8 and alienating a few men like John McLean, 9 had 
little effect on Jackson s following save to strengthen its con 
fidence in its leader. Aside from introducing a bad prece 
dent, the effect of the removals was beneficial in that it 
strengthened the President s control of the executive depart 
ments, thereby promoting the independence of the executive 
branch of the government. 

Jackson s decision to remove the Indians to reservations 
west of the Mississippi, or else to leave them entirely in the 
hands of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, 10 caused the de 
fection of many pious people like the Quakers, whose kind 
ness of heart and missionary zeal far outran their knowledge 
of the actual state of affairs. 11 The opposition seized upon 
this question as the first ground for attacking the administra 
tion, a preliminary test of strength, a " feeling out " of the 
country. 12 Such losses as Jackson sustained from it were 
confined to the East and, it is reasonable to believe, were 

*Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 226, 253, 449, 543. 

5 Jackson to Donelson, April u, 1824, Bonelson MSS. 

6 Jackson to Van Buren, March 31, 1829, Jackson MSS. 

7 Clay to Webster, April 14, 1827, Webster MSS. ; Everett to Mc 
Lean, August i, 18, 1828, McLean MSS. 

8 Calhoun to McLean, September 22, 1829, McLean MSS. 

9 Joseph E. Sprague to McLean, March 23, 1829, William Slade 
to McLean, March 23, 1829, McLean MSS.; Cambreleng to Van 
Buren, April 28, 1829, Van Buren MSS. 

10 Jackson to Ingham, July 31, 1830, John Coffee to Jackson, Sep 
tember 29, 1830, Jackson MSS. 

11 Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 284-2^5; 2^8-289. 

12 Ibid., pp. 287-289. 


largely balanced by the effect on the West and Southwest, 
where removal of the Indians was highly popular. 

The Maysville veto, with the decisive check it administered 
to the general inclination for internal improvements at na 
tional expense, caused the first notable, and perhaps the 
largest, secession from the Jackson ranks. The bill in ques 
tion had passed the House by a vote of 96 to 87 13 before the 
President s attitude was definitely known, 14 and the attempt 
to pass it over his veto had 97 votes for, to 90 opposed. 
This indicates a distinct falling off in the strength which 
elected Stevenson administration speaker six months earlier. 
It marked the first sharp drawing of party lines on the basis 
of principle. This is not surprising since the veto was in 
effect a direct blow at one wing of the National Republican 
basic doctrine, the "American System." The National Re 
publicans, eager to gather into their fold the fragments broken 
away from the Jackson party by the veto, as heretofore 
noted, launched their campaign for Clay as soon as the presi 
dential negative of the Maysville Road Bill had had time to 
circulate through the country. 

Almost exactly coincident with the Maysville veto came 
Jackson s break with Calhoun, the outcome of the contest 
for the succession between the latter and Van Buren. Only 
six weeks before the break the President s attitude against 
nullification had been made known. These two factors oper 
ated to counteract each other to some extent in their effect 
on the party. Jackson s course toward Calhoun and his par 
tiality for Van Buren operated unfavorably for the Presi 
dent s party among Calhoun s admirers both North and 
South. It was this which quickened the hopes of the Na 
tional Republicans just prior to launching Clay s campaign. 15 
On the other hand, Jackson s resolute " Our Federal Union 
it must be preserved," together with Calhoun s open advo- 

13 Niles Register, vol. xxxviii, p. 183. 

14 Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 322-325. 

15 Clay to Brooke, April 24, 1830, Webster to Clay, May 29, 1830, 
Clay, Correspondence, pp. 262-265, 275-276. 


cacy of nullification, strengthened the Executive in both East 
and North. 16 

The part of Jackson s original following, whose loyalty to 
him thus far had remained unshaken, underwent another re 
duction in consequence of his attack on the Bank. The 
losses, however, which his party sustained in the course of 
that encounter, down to the end of 1832, were less than those 
entailed by his veto of the Maysville Road Bill. This was 
due in part to the fact that in proportion as his following had 
been diminished by the issues just referred to, the residue 
was proportionately unlikely to be affected ; partly to the in 
nate hostility of the masses, the bulk of his party, to wealth 
in general ; and partly to the fact that the Bank did not be 
come a campaign issue, in the full sense, until Jackson s veto 
of the recharter bill in July, 1832. 

The campaign entered its last stage with the May conven 
tions of 1832, of which the Democratic has already been de 
scribed. The National Republican convention of young men 
which met in Washington May 7 to I2, 17 pursuant to call 
by the convention of the party at Baltimore, 18 was in all 
respects an electioneering move designed to stir party enthu 
siasm. Ostensibly, its primary object was the ratification of 
Clay s nomination and this it proceeded to do on the third 
day of its session. 19 Immediately following this began the 
real work for which the young men had been assembled, 
the adoption of measures for setting forth the party s plat 
form and for appealing to the country. For these objects 
two committees, each containing a member from each State 
present, were appointed. The duty of one of these commit- 

16 Van Buren, Autobiography, pp. 415-417; Hamilton to Jackson, 
September i, 1831, Jackson MSS. 

17 National Intelligencer, May 8-14, 1832. 

18 Convention of National Republican Party at Baltimore, De 
cember, 1831, Niles Register, vol. xli, p. 305; Journal of the Na 
tional Republican Convention. 

19 Proceedings of the National Republican Convention of Young 
Men . . . Washington, May 7, 1832, in Historical Pamphlets, vol. 
293, No. 18, Johns Hopkins University Library. 


tees was to draft the usual address, that of the other to draw 
up " resolutions upon such subjects as shall be deemed proper 
to be acted upon by this Convention." 20 

The first of these documents, the address " to the Young 
Men of the United States," was similar in all respects to the 
usual party appeal of this kind, although it should be under 
stood that the manifestos issued by the party conventions 
of the period differed essentially from the present-day plat 
form, first in being solely a justification of, or sort of apo 
logia for, the action of the bodies from which they issued ; 
second in dwelling almost entirely upon the errors and evils 
of the opponent s policy, with little or nothing said, save by 
implication, as to their own constructive program. The first 
party platform in the modern sense was the second document 
drawn up by the convention, "the Resolutions." 21 The 
first four of these resolutions stated clearly the party s advo 
cacy of a protective tariff, internal improvements at national 
expense, and the maintenance of the Supreme Court s au 
thority and jurisdiction. The remainder were of a denun 
ciatory character, severely criticizing the removals from 
office as violations of the spirit and letter of the Constitution, 
the administration s course as to the New England boundary 
dispute, and the West Indian trade controversy. The reso 
lutions closed with the present-day declaration that the safety, 
honor and welfare of the union demanded the election of the 
National Republican candidates. 22 

This convention, barring the platform, produced no inno 
vations in convention practice that had not already been ap 
plied by one or another of the similar party convocations. 
Its proceedings included an invitation to Clay to be present 
in person to deliver a short speech and to meet the delegates, 
some 315 in number. There was a pilgrimage of the con 
vention in a body to Mount Vernon, and a visit by a special 

20 ibid. 

21 For complete resolutions, see Appendix III. 

22 Proceedings of the National Republican Convention of Young 


committee to pay the party s respects to Charles Carroll of 
Carrollton. This latter courtesy was the way in which each 
of the three major party conventions expressed its veneration 
for the founders of the republic. 

The dire need of the National Republicans for a campaign 
issue and their eagerness to have the Bank commit itself as 
such has already been mentioned. In the seven months be 
tween Clay s nomination at Baltimore and Jackson s veto of 
the bill rechartering the Bank, the hopes of the party for suc 
cess did not rise very high. Clay s refusal to come out 
against the Masonic order and the Antimasonic nomination 
of Wirt split in two the potential vote against Jackson. If 
the latter was to be defeated, there was truly need for union 
in the opposition, both National Republican and Antimasonic. 
A careful observer wrote Jackson as early as July, 1831, be 
fore the Bank had committed itself to the National Repub 
licans : " Upon a comparison of facts carefully collated for 
some time past from a mass of newspapers from every State 
in the Union, inimical and friendly, and the examination of 
several hundred toasts drank [on the 4th of July, 1831], . . . 
I set it down with the utmost confidence in the accuracy of 
the prediction, that, if your life is spared, you will be again 
sworn in as President ... on the 4th of March, 1833." 
The writer added further that he was certain of the senti 
ments of Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, 
Virginia, the two Carolinas and Georgia. 23 In November, 
1831, Richards, mayor of Philadelphia, wrote McLean that 
Jackson s election appeared certain. 24 We have noticed else 
where Clay s own rather gloomy views expressed in Decem 
ber, 1831 ; indeed, it was reported at that time, with perhaps 
some basis of truth, that Clay s nomination by the National 
Republicans at Baltimore had been "not with any hope of 
his success at the next election, but for future use, and to 

23 Charles G. DeWitt to Jackson, July 20, 1831, Jackson MSS. 

24 Richards to McLean, November n, 1831, McLean MSS. 


prevent him from sinking into oblivion as a candidate for the 
Presidency." 25 

However this last might be, it was plainly evident early 
in 1832 that Jackson s popularity was not appreciably dimin 
ished, 26 and that unless a union could be effected between 
Antimasons and National Republicans his election was a fore 
gone conclusion. A letter written by William Wirt, the Anti- 
masonic candidate, to John McLean at this time is important, 
both as emphasizing this fact and as indicating Wirt s entire 
indifference to the Antimasons : 

I lament with you the inefficiency of the opposition. If it were 
merely an opposition to the present order of things it would unite 
and become efficient. But the opposition itself is formed of self 
asserting materials. How is this intestine war among the very 
elements of the opposition to be overcome? The National Repub 
licans would not leave their present nomination for any other man 
in the Union. Their candidate will infallibly keep the field. 
Neither the Anti-tariff nor the Antimasonic party will unite upon 
him ; and his party will unite upon no other. So that the defeat 
of the opposition seems at present to be unavoidable. And they 
all know it. Yet not an advance is made or even meditated toward 
conciliation. If they would consent to set aside the whole array of 
nominees & agree upon a new name, the object might be accom 
plished. The Antimasons would do this, in favor of one individual 
[McLean], and they would have my most hearty concurrence. But 
the National Republicans will never consent to abandon their first 
choice to come to that individual. ... It is easy to see what reason 
and patriotism dictate in the case but the small still voice of 
reason and patriotism is drowned amidst the roar and din of con 
tending factions. For my own part, I have held but one language 
to the Antimasons from the beginning which is that I consider 
their nomination of me as their own work that it is their perfect 
right to change it whenever they please, and that my opinion, it is 
their duty to change it, if by so doing, they can prevent the reelec 
tion of the present incumbent without any material sacrifice of their 
own principle and this they could do &, I am persuaded would do, 
if the National Republicans could be prevailed on to unite in the 
measure. But these last say, on the other hand, that they cannot 
do so without entirely sacrificing their own principles for they 
consider their candidates as identified with their principles & the 
very existence of their party. So that the greater considerations 
of the Country, of the constitution and the union is to be sacri 
ficed to the triumph of a party, or rather to an effort at triumph 
which they cannot but know must end in defeat. So that it is not 
the want of skill nor of perseverance . . . which is to ruin us ... 

25 Jackson to Van Buren, December 17, 1831, Van Buren MSS. 

26 M. T. Simpson to McLean, February 8, 1832, McLean MSS. 


it is wilful obstinacy and perseverance in a cause which they know 
will be fatal. Heaven have mercy on us for that alone can save 
us. 27 

It would seem from this distance that the union of the 
two parties would have been easily possible but for the Na 
tional Republican obstinacy in courting certain defeat in 
preference to giving up Clay ; for, while the Antimasons were 
not greatly interested as a party in the questions of internal 
improvements, tariff, and Bank, the fact that their strong 
holds were in New England, New York, Pennsylvania and 
Ohio presupposes among a considerable part of their voters, 
at least, a preference for a nationalistic policy regarding these 
questions. According to Thurlow Weed, the Antimasons 
sympathized with Clay s views, particularly on the tariff. 28 
From this it is apparent that no sacrifice of National Repub 
lican principles would have been entailed by effecting at once 
the union with the Antimasons, which they resorted to two 
years later. 

Wirt was not alone in the opinion that the refusal of the 
National Republicans to give up Clay and unite with the 
Antimasons in supporting some other candidate against 
Jackson would produce the defeat of them both. 29 This need 
for unity in the opposition against Jackson was clearly felt 
by both Antimasons and National Republicans, and even by 
the disgruntled followers of Calhoun. Calhoun himself, his 
friend and ally, Governor Floyd of Virginia, and Duff Green, 
as early as March, 1832, seriously considered placing the 
South Carolinian in the field as a presidential candidate. Ac 
cordingly they approached Clay s friends with the proposi 
tion that the latter should unite with them in supporting 
Calhoun in the South and Southwest, provided it should ap 
pear that, thus supported, the latter could carry several 

27 William Wirt to McLean, April 17, 1832, McLean MSS. 

28 Cf. Weed, Autobiography, p. 350; Clay to Johnston, July 23, 
1831, Clay, Correspondence, p. 309. 

29 Cf. Weed, p. 391 ; John Norvall to McLean, January 20, John 
W. Taylor to McLean, May 18, B. W. Richards to McLean, June 
5, 1832, McLean MSS. 


states. The object of such a scheme, aside from the motive 
of revenge on Calhoun s part, was to bring the election of 
president into the House of Representatives where Clay s 
chances would be infinitely better. 30 Nothing more appears 
relative to the plan, and as Calhoun was not brought out for 
president, and as the Clay party in Virginia chose Clay elec 
tors, 31 the presumption is that Calhoun s friends perceived 
the impossibility of his carrying any State save his own and 
gave up the idea. 

The opposition to Van Buren s vice-presidential candidacy 
by the Calhoun faction has already been noticed, together 
with its failure to prevent his nomination at the Baltimore 
Convention in May, 1832. The South Carolinian s managers 
then transferred their activities again to Virginia, the Caro- 
linas, and Alabama, their object being to nominate Barbour 
with Jackson on a separate ticket, 32 as had been done by the 
opposition to Van Buren within the Democratic party in 
Pennsylvania. Accordingly they held a state nominating 
convention at Charlottes ville, Virginia, June 12-14, nom 
inated Jackson and Barbour, appointed a corresponding 
committee, drew up the customary address and chose electors 
favorable to Barbour instead of Van Buren. 33 It was fol 
lowed by another similar convention and a like result in 
North Carolina, June the i8th. To the North Carolina Con 
vention s notification to him of his nomination, Barbour re 
turned an appreciative but equivocal reply, neither accepting 
nor declining. 34 In South Carolina Barbour was nominated 
for vice-president by a local meeting in the Laurens district, 
the bulk of the State being apparently too much absorbed 

30 Clay to Brooke, April I, 1832, Clay, Correspondence, pp. 332- 

31 Niles Register, vol. xlii, p. 327 ; Stevenson to Ritchie, Feb 
ruary 4, C. W. Gooch to Cambreleng, October 9, 1832, Van Buren 

32 John Randolph to Jackson, July 5, 15, 1832, Jackson MSS. 

33 Richmond Enquirer, June 19, 1832 ; Niles Register, vol. xlii, 
PP. 303-304. 

s* Ibid., pp. 339, 406. 


with nullification to think much about opposing Van Buren 
by means of the ballot. 35 In Alabama the attempt to place 
Barbour on the Jackson ticket seems to have failed com 
pletely. 36 

Barbour s course in regard to this movement was peculiar 
but is not hard to explain. Since 1830 he had been a Judge 
of the United States District Court in Virginia, 37 and was in 
the good graces of the administration. It is not improbable 
that he had his eyes on a seat on the national Supreme Bench. 
Hence he would naturally be chary of offending the power 
from which his appointment must come. His nomination in 
opposition to Van Buren did not meet with administration 
approval, as the tone of the Globe soon showed. 38 In spite 
of this and of pressure from the Junto, Barbour was loath 
to withdraw his name, 39 and it was not until the very eve of 
the election that he decided to jeopardize his future no fur 
ther, and withdrew his name from the Democratic ticket. 
The reason he alleged for his withdrawal was that the oppo 
sition party was using his nomination as a basis for pro 
claiming that a division existed in the Democratic party. 40 
His action was, however, sufficiently early to placate the ad 
ministration and to admit of Jackson appointing him to the 
Supreme Court about the end of 1835. 41 

While this had been going on in the South during the hot 
test of the campaign, a definite move was made toward a 
combination of National Republican and Antimasonic forces 
in New York, to enable the latter with National Republican 
aid to win the control of the State from the Democrats. In 
return for this, the National Republicans expected the sup 
port of the Antimasonic electors to be given to Clay. It was 
the first step toward what became, in the North at least, a 

35 Ibid., vol. xlii, p. 405. 

36 Jackson to Van Buren, September 16, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 

37 Niles Register, vol. xxxix, p. 121. 

38 Ibid., vol. xlii, p. 406. 

39 C. W. Gooch to Cambreleng, October 9, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 

40 Letter of withdrawal dated October 24, 1832, published in 
Richmond Enquirer, October 30, 1832; also in Niles Register, vol. 
xliii, p. 153. 

41 Niles Register, vol. xlix, p. 300. 


complete merging of both parties in the Whigs two years 
later. In pursuance of this plan, the presidential electors 
of the Antimasonic party were unpledged to any candidate, 
and the subsequent National Republican state convention 
adopted Granger and Stevens, the Antimasonic gubernatorial 
ticket, together with the Antimasonic slate of presidential 
electors, as its own. To further the coalition and prevent 
discord between the two parties in making their local nom 
inations in the districts and counties, one National Repub 
lican and one Antimason, Matthew L. Davis and Thurlow 
Weed, were selected by their respective parties to make the 
rounds of the local conventions to unite them upon the same 
candidates for the legislature and other state offices. 42 This 
junction of forces was rendered the more feasible since both 
parties in the State favored the Bank and the " American 
System. * 43 

This coalition gave the Democrats of the Regency no un 
easiness. The fact that neither Antimasons nor National 
Republicans dared avow whom their presidential electors, if 
chosen, would vote for, made a fine subject for ridicule for 
the Democratic press which referred to the coalition as the 
" Siamese Twin Party," on account of the peregrinations 
about the State of Davis and Weed. 44 The Regency conven 
tion nominated William L. Marcy as its candidate for gov 
ernor, 45 and Van Buren himself took charge of the campaign. 
In the course of a tour through the State, he wrote to Jack 
son the following : " The union between the different sections 
of the opposition, is, on the face of it quite imposing, but 
you may rest assured that we shall give them a sound beat 
ing. ... I can with truth say that the election field never 
presented so pleasant an aspect to me as at this time." 46 

42 William Rupell to McLean, May 14, 1832, Albert H. Tracy to 
McLean, October 19, 1832, McLean MSS.; Weed, 413-414; Ham 
mond, vol. ii, p. 417. 

43 McCarthy, The Antimasonic Party, p. 413, based on Thurlow 
Weed s Albany Evening Journal, August 24, September 14, 1832. 

44 Hammond, vol. ii, pp. 417-418; Weed, pp. 413-414. 

45 Hammond, vol. ii, pp. 421-423. 

46 Van Buren to Jackson, August 29, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 


One of the principal grounds on which Van Buren was 
attacked after his nomination on the ticket with Jackson was 
his tariff attitude. In the South it was feared that he did 
not favor reduction of the tariff, and in the North he was 
suspected of opposing protection. The uneasiness in the 
party on this subject, even before he returned from Europe, 
led Jackson to write him, " They enemies have attempted to 
assail you on your ultra tariff opinions. I have said you 
were for a fair protection to place our productive labour on 
a fair competition with that of Europe &c &c." 47 

Van Buren, as a matter of fact, had supported the Tariff 
of i828. 48 This record, together with the allegations of the 
opposition, coupled with the movement in favor of Barbour, 
and Jackson s action in signing a bill for some internal im 
provements whose national character was dubious, 49 caused 
considerable uneasiness among the Democratic leaders in the 
South. To such an extent were they carried by their fears 
that Daniel and Ritchie, of the Junto, and John Forsyth of 
Georgia wrote Van Buren urging him to take "the first op 
portunity of putting yourself right on the subject of the 
tariff of 1828," 50 to work for a reduction of duties in order 
to conciliate South Carolina, and, for its effect on the party 
at large, to come out strongly on old Democratic principles. 51 
Further point was added to these exhortations by a political 
meeting held at Shocco Springs, North Carolina, on August 
25. Through a committee it addressed to both Van Buren 
and Barbour a request to be informed of their sentiments 
" on the subjects of the protective system and its proper ad 
justment, internal improvements, the Bank of the United 
States and nullification." 52 

47 Jackson to Van Buren, July 7, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 

48 Van Buren Autobiography, p. 171. 

49 Niles Register, vol. xlii, p. 382. 

50 Forsyth to Van Buren, July 7, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 

51 Ritchie to Van Buren, July 10, P. V. Daniel to Van Buren, 
July 12, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 

52 Quoted by Van Buren from the Shocco Springs Committee s 
resolutions of enquiry. See Appendix II. 


This inquiry reached Van Buren in the midst of a trip 
into western New York about the first of October. Coming 
on the heels of the Junto s uneasiness, it decided him to 
speak. His reply, written largely in pencil and while trav 
eling in stage coaches and canal boats, dated October 4, 53 
was published first in the Albany Argus. 54 This document 
constitutes the best statement anywhere to be found of the 
principles which Jackson had established as the party tenets. 85 
Jackson wrote with reference to it : "I have seen and read 
with much pleasure your reply to the Committee of N. Car 
olina. It breathes the same principles and opinions I as 
sured your friends you always possessed All my pledges 
on this score you have redeemed. Your reply meets the ap 
probation of all your friends and must silence your en 
emies." 56 This letter of Van Buren s was published by 
Blair in pamphlet form in 1834, presumably for party use in 
the next presidential campaign. In the present campaign, 
together with Jackson s veto message on the Bank, it formed 
the party s chief campaign literature of the more substantial 

In this reply Van Buren discussed the subjects in the 
order inquired about. He declared his belief in the power of 
Congress to enact tariff legislation, but stated that he was op 
posed to any tariff which operated unequally on different 
parts of the country and added that the near extinction of 
the public debt made tariff reduction further desirable, quot 
ing Jackson s third annual message on this point. 57 Con 
cerning internal improvements he expressed the same views 
as those of Jackson s Maysville veto; namely, that the na 
tional government was without constitutional authority to 
construct directly internal improvements within a State, but 

53 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 562. 
5 * Niles Register, vol. xliii, p. 125. 

55 Van Buren s reply, Pamphlet under this caption in Van Buren 
MSS. ; cf. Autobiography, p. 567; see Appendix II. 

56 Jackson to Van Buren, October 23, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 

57 Cf. Richardson, Messages and Papers, vol. ii, pp. 556. 


might aid financially such works of improvement as were na 
tional, as distinguished from local, in character. Concerning 
the Bank and nullification he stated unequivocally his belief 
that both were unconstitutional, and that the latter, in addi 
tion, would entail "the ultimate but certain destruction of 
the Confederacy." 

Jackson returned the Bank Bill with his veto on July 10, 
i832. 68 Coming at this time, and in view of the National 
Republicans* attitude toward the Bank, the veto made it cer 
tain that " Bank or no Bank " 59 would be the main issue of 
the campaign. Both National Republicans and Democrats 
were alike pleased that such was the case. "If Jacksonism," 
wrote Watmough to Biddle, "can stand this, it will stand 
anything & we may as well give up the rule to vulgarity & 
Barbarism at once. 5 " 60 Biddle wrote to Clay, "the Presi 
dent . . . must pay the penalty of his own rashness. As to 
the veto message, I am delighted with it. ... It is really a 
manifesto of anarchy such as Marat or Robespierre might 
have issued to the mob of the Faubourg St. Antoine ; and 
my hope is, that it will contribute to relieve the country from 
the dominion of these miserable people. You are destined 
to be the instrument of that deliverance." 61 On the Demo 
crats side, Peter V. Daniel wrote Van Buren : " I greatly re 
joice at the President s rejection of the Bank Bill." 62 Van 
Buren said : " The Veto is popular [in New York] beyond my 
most sanguine expectations. I have not heard of a single 
case where it has driven a friend from us ... and for the 
first time since I have taken part in politics, have I found a 
prominent measure of an opposing candidate extensively ap 
plauded by his adversaries." 63 

58 Ibid., vol. ii, pp. 576-591. 

59 Sam Smith to Jackson, June 17, 1832, Jackson MSS. 

60 Watmough to Biddle, July 10, 1832, Biddle MSS. 

61 Biddle to Clay, August I, 1832, Clay, Correspondence, p. 341. 
1 Daniel to Van Buren, July 12, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 

63 Van Buren to Donelson, August 26, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 


The veto message, probably the joint work of Jackson and 
Taney, 64 was an excellent campaign document, and in that 
part dealing with the constitutional aspects of the case, an 
able, well-reasoned production. As a friend in the Senate 
wrote Biddle, it was written for effect and as an appeal to 
the country. 65 It objected to the Bank as unconstitutional, 
as a monopoly, as unnecessary, inexpedient and injurious to 
the country, and supplemented these objections by an appeal 
to the natural dislike of poverty for wealth, to the prejudices 
of the state banks and to the national prejudice against for 
eign stockholders. 66 

Both parties, Democrats and National Republicans the 
Bank s cause being so enthusiastically pushed by the latter as 
to exclude practically all else now joined battle in good 
earnest. 67 The Democrats had manifested their confidence 
in the efHcacy of the veto as an aid to their cause by mov 
ing in Congress that 16,000 copies of the message should be 
printed for use of the members. 68 So great was the con 
fidence of the National Republican Congressmen in its good 
effects upon their cause that they joined the Democrats in 
passing the resolution. Nor did their party s error end 
there. Their press, aided by the Bank, printed and circu 
lated it by thousands, together with the speeches against it in 
the Senate by Clay and Webster. 69 Indeed the expense ac 
count of the Bank contains an item of $558 expended for 
printing, wrapping and distributing 30,000 copies of " Gen 
eral Jackson s veto." 

In addition to supplying their leading issue, the Bank was 
incidentally a valuable financial ally of the National Repub- 

64 Cf. Jackson to Van Buren, July 7, 1832, Van Buren MSS. ; cf. 
Taney to Jackson, June 27, 1832, Jackson MSS. 

65 J. S. Johnston to Biddle, July 10, 1832, Biddle MSS. 
96 Richardson, Messages and Papers, vol. ii, pp. 576-591. 
Watmough to Biddle, July 13, 1832, Biddle MSS. 

68 Niles Register, vol. xlii, pp. 361, 379. 

69 Clay to Webster, August 27, 1832, Webster MSS. ; Watmough 
to Biddle, September 25, 1832, Biddle MSS.; Biddle to Webster, 
October 14, 1832, Letter Book. 

70 Expense Book in Biddle MSS.; 23rd Cong., 2nd sess., S. Doc. 
No. 17, p. 325- 


licans. The institution s expense account shows a total of 
$16,999.00 applied, during the last half of 1832, to the pub 
lishing and distributing of the veto message, speeches of Clay, 
Webster and Ewing, and other literature favorable to the 
Bank. From the beginning of 1830 to the end of 1832 the 
Bank spent for propagandic and campaign purposes certainly 
above $42,000.00, a sum at least the equivalent of half a mil 
lion expended in a campaign of today. 71 

The first indication bearing on the general results of the 
efforts of both parties was the election of state officers in 
Kentucky during August. Both sides relied mainly on the 
Bank issue and made a liberal use of the veto message. The 
Democrats, however, had the better organization and diffused 
their literature more widely. 72 On the other hand the veto 
of the Bank bill aided the National Republicans considerably 
since it caused a small financial panic in some places. 73 This 
contest in Clay s supposed stronghold resulted in the election 
of Breathitt, the Jackson candidate for governor, by a major 
ity of some twelve hundred, although Clay s forces suc 
ceeded in electing their candidate for lieutenant-governor 
and a majority of the legislature. 74 

This failure of the National Republicans to carry Ken 
tucky entirely had a depressing effect on them and cor 
respondingly encouraged the Democrats. Clay wrote Webster 
in rather gloomy vein lamenting the superior industry of the 
Jacksonians in " the circulation of documents " and the slow 
ness with which their own party had acted in this respect. 75 
To Biddle he wrote in the same strain : " I . . . sincerely hope 
that the overthrow which you anticipate, of our present 
misguided rulers will be realized. ... I transmit under your 
cover a letter . . . which . . . contains a faithful account 

71 Ibid., Expense Book in Biddle MSS. 

72 Clay to Webster, August 27, 1832, Webster MSS. 

73 John Breathitt to Jackson, August 23, 1832, Jackson MSS.; 
Niles Register, vol. xlii, pp. 407, 425, 427. 

74 Niles Register, vol. xliii, p. 3. 

75 Clay to Webster, August 27, 1832, Webster MSS. 


of our recent elections. Their result was certainly not satis 
factory, in all respects." 76 At this time Van Buren, in writing 
Jackson from New York, added to his letter : " P. S. B s 
[Breathitt s election in Kentucky] is truly a glorious affair. 
You can form no idea of the effect it has had upon the poor 
Clay men in this quarter." 77 

Jackson himself watched the public sentiment closely. 
He had a fair opportunity of observing for himself the situ 
ation in the South, the West and the Southwest as he trav 
ersed Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky in the course of his 
trip to the Hermitage from July to October. 78 In addition, 
while at the Hermitage, he received reports from friends and 
party leaders in different quarters of the country. 79 His es 
timate of the outlook was as follows : " The veto works well," 
he wrote Donelson, " instead of crushing me as was expected 
& intended, it will crush the Bank." 80 To Van Buren he 
wrote : " Mr. Clay will not get one Electoral vote west of the 
mountains or south of the Potomac, in my opinion." 81 " I 
have twice passed through Virginia at different points on my 
journey to & from the Hermitage I have no hesitation in 
assuring you, that it is my opinion, that you will get the vote 
of every state that I will, except S. Carolina, and it is doubt- 
full whether she will give her vote to either of us." 82 

Even men who were disinterested in the election s outcome 
and not unfriendly to Clay regarded the result as a foregone 
conclusion from the time the Bank veto was fairly before the 
country. Richards wrote McLean : " I think the bank cannot 
now be rechartered, it threw itself upon the support of the 
Clay party and relied upon the fears of Jackson to secure it 

76 Clay to Biddle, August 27, 1832, Biddle MSS. 

77 Van Buren to Jackson, August 29, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 

78 Jackson to Andrew Jackson, Jr., July 19, 1832, Jackson MSS.; 
Globe, October 20, 1832. 

79 Cf. Van Buren to Jackson, August 29, 31, Jackson to Van 
Buren, August 30, September 16, October 23, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 

80 Jackson to Donelson, August 9, 1832, Donelson MSS. 

81 Jackson to Van Buren, September 16, 1832, Van Buren MSS. 

82 Ibid., October 23, 1832. 


his signature at the last moment. It has miscalculated on 
both grounds. The Clay party will gain nothing on the Bank 
question in this State [Pennsylvania] and will lose elsewhere. 
Attachment to a large monied corporation is not a popular 
attribute. The feeling of common minds is against Mr. 
Clay." 83 McLean himself expressed this opinion : "I do 
not believe that the veto will lose the general the vote of any 
State; and his election, I consider, as certain as any future 
event can be. His opponent will fall below the last vote of 
Mr. Adams." 84 

The election returns fulfilled these prophecies excepting 
only as to Pennsylvania and Kentucky. The result was a 
victory for Jackson by an electoral vote unequalled, when 
two or more parties participated, since the days of Washing 
ton. Wirt and Ellmaker obtained only the seven votes of 
Vermont. Clay and Sergeant received the entire vote of 
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware and 
Kentucky, and five from Maryland a total of 49. Except 
ing South Carolina s, Jackson received every remaining elec 
toral vote save two not cast in Maryland, 85 a total of 219 
of the 288 in the electoral college. Van Buren did nearly as 
well ; he received the same electoral vote as did Jackson less 
the 30 votes of Pennsylvania which went to Wilkins. In 
South Carolina and Delaware presidential electors were still 
appointed by the legislature. Since the nullificationists 
wholly controlled the former State, it is not strange that its 
1 1 votes went to Calhoun s friend, John Floyd of Virginia. 86 

The popular vote defies exact calculation. Based on the 
returns given in Niles Register, probably the most accurate 
source available, and supplemented by conservative estimates, 
based on the individual State s population, its general attitude 
toward the candidates and the issues, and on such figures for 

83 Richard to McLean, July 19, 1832; cf. ibid., October 25, 1832, 
McLean MSS. 
8 * McLean to Robert Walsh, July 29, 1832, McLean MSS. 

85 This was due to the illness of two electors. 

86 See table, Appendix IV. 


local elections as can be found, it is a safe statement that of 
the popular vote Jackson received about 661,000, Clay about 
454,000 and Wirt about 100,000. It is therefore approx 
imately correct to estimate Jackson s majority at ioo,ooo, 87 
though this is some 30,000 less than Stanwood s somewhat 
erroneous tabulation. 88 

The National Republican and Antimasonic opposition to 
Jackson owed its defeat primarily to the popularity with the 
larger part of the electorate of Jackson s measures, the latter 
based on his intuitive perception of the will of the masses, 
reinforced by his personal popularity on the one hand, and 
to the alliance of West and South, fortified by New York, 
on the other hand. Jackson s policy was sufficiently ac 
ceptable to the particularistic South to hold all of it loyal to 
him except the nullifiers, and his strict construction attitude 
toward the Bank led both South and West to join hands in 
his support. For the support of New York he was largely 
indebted to Van Buren and his excellent political organiza 
tion, the Albany Regency, which in combination with the 
Richmond Junto formed so effective an element in Jackson s 

That it was not merely a victory for Jackson s character 
and personality but rather for the principles upon which he 
had stood was conclusively demonstrated by the complexion 
of the House of Representatives elected with him. So far 
was the Bank from achieving its needed two-thirds majority, 
that of the 240 members of this new body 140 were admin 
istration supporters. 89 Such being the case, it was entirely 
natural that Jackson should regard the result of the cam 
paign in general as a vindication of his constitutional prin 
ciples and of his policies, and in particular as a verdict against 
the Bank 90 which, aided by the National Republicans, had 
challenged him to a test of strength before the country. 

87 Ibid. 

88 Stanwood, History of Presidential Elections, p. in. 

89 Niles Register, vol. xlv, p. 228. 

9/0 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 657. 



To determine exactly when the terms " Democratic " and 
"Democratic Republican," on the one hand, and the term 
" National Republican," on the other, came to be applied to 
the followers of Jackson and to those of Adams and Clay 
respectively, is difficult. This cannot be categorically deter 
mined since usage varied in different States. Indeed the only 
sweeping statement applicable is that there never was any 
uniformity or consistency generally displayed by either party 
in its self -designation down to 1830; even as late as 1832 
the Jacksonians referred to themselves officially as the " Re 
publican party." x 

The chief causes for the slow development of distinctive 
party names were : first, the reluctance of the various fac 
tions into which the old Republican party was split by the 
campaign of 1824 to regard themselves, or even to seem to 
appear, as other than the true Republican party ; second, the 
fact that the campaigns of 1824 and 1828 were so largely 
based upon the personalities of the candidates instead of 
upon their political principles. Thus during the campaign 
of 1824 the Adams, Clay, Calhoun, Crawford and Jackson 
factions respectively considered themselves as parts of the 
old Republican party as it had existed under Madison and 

Party nomenclature began to take distinctive shape, locally 
at least, during the campaign of 1824. At the beginning of 
that contest the one party name in existence was "Repub 
lican." Indeed the party had been mostly so styled since 

1 See " Proceedings of a Convention of Republican Delegates . . . 
held at Baltimore, . . . May, 1832," History Pamphlets, vol. 293, 
Johns Hopkins University Library. 



1 8 12, as is shown by Jefferson s letters and by Niles Regis 
ter. 2 As the Adams and Clay factions inclined more toward 
each other in their advocacy of a nationalistic policy as to 
internal improvements, and still considered themselves and 
were considered within the Republican party, the descriptive 
adjective " national " began to be applied to them to differen 
tiate them from the rather more particularistic followers of 
Jackson and Crawford. As far as can be ascertained the 
term " National Republican " was first applied to the Adams- 
Clay followers in New York during the latter stages of the 
campaign of 1824 when they united in the state legislature in 
order to defeat the Regency s effort to choose Crawford elec 
tors. Van Buren speaks of it thus : " The high minded [a 
little group of anti-Clintonian Federalists] espoused the cause 
of Mr. Adams zealously, and the feelings produced, or rather 
revived, by that contest carried them back into the federal 
ranks then called National Republicans where the sur 
vivors are still [1854] serving as Whigs." 3 However this 
may have been, the term was not at all used in contemporary 
newspapers and letters. 

In New York politics the name " Democratic " was also 
revived just prior to the opening of the national campaign of 
1824. In 1818 there had been a split in the Republican party 
in the State, Clinton leading one faction and Van Buren the 
other. 4 The latter was dubbed by its enemies the " Buck- 
tails," and about the same time began to refer to itself as the 
" Democratic " party. 5 The term " Republican," however, 
was still used to indicate both " Bucktails " and Clintonians. 8 
As the Albany Regency under Van Buren s direction grew 
in strength and its party in the State became dominant, the 
term " Democratic " came to mean the Regency s party. 

2 Cf. Niles Register, vols. i, ii, iii, ix, xi, xvii, xxi. 

3 Van Buren Autobiography, p. 108. 

4 Weed. Autobiography, p. 67. 

B Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 98; Weed, p. 78; Hammond, vol. 
ii, pp. 86-87, H5, 139- 
6 Hammond, p. 139. 


In Pennsylvania down to 1823 the general party term was 
" Republican " as distinguished from " Federalist." As the 
democracy of the State became more and more militant in its 
support of Jackson, the popular meetings of his followers 
all over the State used the term " Democrats " to describe 
themselves and their political principles and referred to the 
political body in which they claimed membership as the 
" democratic republican party." 7 The state convention 
which nominated Jackson for president was composed of 
delegates appointed by the "democratic republicans of this 
state." 8 At the same time however the convention referred 
to the congressional caucus as being made up of a " minority 
of the republican members of Congress " and its action as 
being therefore a departure from " republican party " estab 
lished usage. 9 This indicates that the party at large in the 
country was still styled the " Republican " and that Jackson s 
Pennsylvania supporters considered themselves as part of it. 

So far as any generalization is possible from the above 
and other instances, it appears that both general groups 
the followers of Crawford and Jackson on the one hand, and 
those of Adams and Clay on the other into which the old 
Republican party was showing a tendency to divide by the 
end of 1823, still regarded themselves as Republicans and 
within the party thus designated. The terms " Democratic," 
" Democratic Republican " and " National Republican " had 
come into being as party names, but their use was confined 
to localities, States at most. The use of the first of these 
seems to have been confined to the Regency party in New 
York, that of the second to the Jacksonians in Pennsylvania, 
while the third was a designation for the Adams-Clay faction 
in New York plus the remnant of Federalists who joined 
them. Certainly there was no general use of any party name 
except "Republican." 

7 Niles Register, vol. xxv, pp. 167, 195, 242-243 ; pamphlet in A. 
J. Donelson MSS. containing account of Jackson meeting at Pitts- 
burg, Pa., November 14, 1823. 

8 Niles Register, vol. xxvi, pp. 19-20. 

9 Ibid., p. 20. 


Throughout the campaign of 1828 the same characteristics 
were manifested. The elimination of Crawford, the relega 
tion of Calhoun and Clay to places of secondary importance, 
the election of Adams, and the union between his and Clay s 
followers operated to draw the line more sharply between 
the two opposing factions into which the shattered old Re 
publican party had coalesced by the end of 1825. No other 
party name than " Republican," however, was generally used 
by either faction and each considered itself the true Repub 
lican party, the direct lineal descendant of that of Madison 
and Monroe. 10 There is no evidence that either faction re 
garded its opponent as other than a schismatic Republican 
group ; indeed all the evidence points to this as the case. Clay 
stated this point of view exactly in a letter to Webster near 
the close of 1826 as follows : " We really have in this country 
no other than a Republican party. Names may be gotten up 
or kept up in particular states for local or personal purposes, 
but at this time there are but two parties in the Union, that 
of the administration and the opposition." 11 

In local practice throughout the country the use of party 
nomenclature was still inconsistent and varied. The single 
definite fact and also the only definite distinction in the use 
of names, as is shown in contemporary newspapers, was the 
nation-wide use of " the administration party " and " the op 
position party," 12 or " the friends of General Jackson " and 
"the friends of the administration." 13 Conventions were 
spoken of as " Adams " and " Jackson " conventions ; 14 a 
voter was an " Adams man " or a " Jackson man " ; 15 and the 
tickets nominated for state and local offices were known as 
" the Adams ticket " and " the Jackson ticket," the individual 

10 Ibid., vol. xxxi, p. 82. 

11 Clay to Webster, November 10, 1826, Webster MSS. 

12 Niles Register, vol. xxx, p. 335. 

13 Baltimore Gazette, January 15, April 18, 1826, May 7, July 23, 
1827; Baltimore American, May 23, 24, 1827; Niles Register, vol. 
xxxi, p. 82. 

14 Niles Register, vol. xxxiii, pp. 129-357, passim. 

15 Ibid., pp. 81, 333- 


candidate being the " Adams candidate " or the " Jackson 
candidate." 16 

Aside from these terms based on the persons rather than 
upon their principles, there was no consistency or uniformity 
as to party designation. The Jackson paper in New Hamp 
shire still referred to the supporters of the two parties as 
"Republicans" and "Federalists." 17 The Albany Argus 
spoke of " devotion to the republican cause and the interests 
of the democratic party" in the same sentence and connec 
tion. 18 After Jackson and Calhoun had become the party 
candidates, the Argus and the United States Telegraph each 
headed a column daily with " Republican National Ticket " 
over the names of the two men. 19 The Richmond Enquirer 
used the term " Republican " to refer to the Jackson party 
where the reference was unmistakable, but where it was not 
clear, used the conventional " Adams " or " Jackson " to dis 
tinguish. 20 

Only in Pennsylvania was there a definite drift toward the 
use of " Democratic " as a distinctive term. The term " dem 
ocratic republican " had been used to describe the Jackson- 
ians from the time the State began to stampede to him in 
i823. 21 Hence " democratic republican " continued as the 
term mainly used in the campaign of 1828. Notwithstand 
ing this there was a tendency to use " democratic " alone as 
the party designation. This tendency is illustrated by the 
references to the state convention at Harrisburg which was 
referred to by the party papers as the " Democratic Conven 
tion at Harrisburg." 22 It appears also in the convention s 

Ibid., p. 384. 

17 New Hampshire Patriot, quoted in Albany Argus, March 27, 

18 Albany Argus, September 7, 1827. 

19 See files of Argus and Telegraph during September and Octo 
ber, 1828. 

20 Richmond Enquirer, January 17, 1828. 

21 Pamphlet issued by Jackson meeting at Pittsburg, Pennsylva 
nia, dated November 14, 1823, Donelson MSS. 

22 Pennsylvania Reporter, January n, 1828; Telegraph, January 
17, 1828. 


nomination of Jackson " as the democratic candidate of Penn 
sylvania " for president. 28 

As to the Adams party, if Van Buren s memory was cor 
rect after twenty-five years, the name " National Republican " 
had been in existence since the campaign of i824, 24 but there 
was certainly no general, and apparently no local, use of it 
during the campaign of 1828. As has been said the party 
was generally referred to among its friends as the " Repub 
lican " party if the reference was unmistakable, otherwise 
as the " friends of the administration " or " friends of 

During the campaign of 1832, the use of party names 
rested more on party principles, hence for the most part the 
names of Jackson and Clay were discarded as descriptive 
adjectives. As nearly as can be determined, the name " Na 
tional Republican " became current during the year 1830, 
about the time that party launched Clay s campaign. 25 Niles 
begins using it and it begins to appear in letters about the 
end of 1830 and the beginning of 183 1. 26 In the first two 
months of 1831 it became fixed party usage. During the 
process of effecting the party s organization in New York 
City it was used exclusively ; 27 it was also used for the most 
part by the state conventions held in Connecticut and Maine 
at this time. 28 

" National Republican " received what may be called the 
final stamp of approval as the party s official title by the Na 
tional Intelligencer in its issue of February 22, 1831, thus: 
"National Republican is an excellent designation for a na 
tional party in our republican Union. Let it be adopted 
everywhere, by all who would uphold the Federal Constitu 
tion ; secure the independence and continuance of the Su- 

23 Telegraph. Jan. 17, 1828: Pennsylvania Reporter, Jan. 17, 1828. 

24 Van Bnren, Autobiography, p. loS. 

25 Seward, Autobiography, pp. 74, 76. 

26 Cf. Niles Register, vol. xxxix, p. 330; P. P. F. Degrand to 
Biddle. January 23, 1831, Biddle MSS. 

27 National Intelligencer, January 4, February 17, 1831. 

28 Ibid., February 24, March 7, 1831. 


preme Court; preserve a sound currency; possess a sub 
stantive and enlightened President of the United States ; pre 
vent offices from becoming the booty of mere partisans and 
parasites ; and obtain a truly responsible and visible govern 
ment." 28 Hence it is to be expected, and this was actually 
the case, that the proceedings of the party s two conventions, 
that at Baltimore in December, 1831, and that at Washington 
the following May, should be printed by order of those bodies 
under the respective titles of " Journal of the National Re 
publican Convention " and " Proceedings of the National 
Republican Convention of Young Men." 30 

During the campaign the use of " Democratic " as a desig 
nation for the party increased somewhat in favor with the 
Jacksonians but did not by any means displace " Republican " 
as the party s official title. " Democratic Republican " was, 
however, the most frequently used of the three names, no 
doubt in order to differentiate the party more sharply from 
the National Republican. Seward states that " The cam 
paign for 1832 opened with the year 1830. The Republican 
party, now taking to itself the more radical name of the 
Democratic party/ announced ... its determination to se 
cure the reelection of Andrew Jackson." 31 Seward s mem 
ory here seems at fault since the New York Courier and 
Enquirer, then staunchly Jacksonian, in the same article re 
ferred to the Jackson party by all three names, as " repub 
lican party," " democratic party " and " democratic repub 
licans/ 32 

In Pennsylvania " Democratic Republican " remained the 
most prevalent term, with " Democratic " used to some ex 
tent, 33 and this seems to have been the case in New Hamp- 

29 Ibid., February 22, 1831. 

30 History Pamphlets, vol. 293, Nos. 17, 18, Johns Hopkins Uni 
versity Library. 

31 Seward, Autobiography, p. 76. 

32 New York Courier and Enquirer, March 12, 1830, in Miles 
Register, vol. xxxviii, p. no. 

83 Cf. Niles Register, vol. xxxvi, p. 134 ; vol. xl, p. 61 ; vol. xlii, 
P. 72. 


shire also. 34 A letter from Richards to McLean shows that 
the Jackson ticket in Philadelphia " is called simply the Dem 
ocratic ticket." 35 For all these local variations, and the 
probable increased use of " Democratic Republican," 36 the 
official designation of the party remained " Republican." 
Thus The Globe, the Albany Argus, and the Richmond En 
quirer usually referred to their party by the latter name, and 
Jackson, Kendall and other leaders so designated it in their 
letters. 37 This official title of the party conclusively appears 
in the caption of the proceedings of its convention in Balti 
more, as " A Convention of Republican Delegates." 38 

To generalize categorically concerning this usage, which 
was so varied and which crystallized so gradually, is venture 
some. The following facts, however, seem to stand out with 
some degree of clearness. As to the designation of the fol 
lowers of Adams and, later, of Clay, the term " National Re 
publican " may have been coined as early as the campaign of 
1824, according to Van Buren, 39 or in that of 1828, accord 
ing to Seward, 40 but the name certainly did not attain general 
or official usage before 1830, after Clay s campaign was under 
way. As to the Jackson party, the designations "Demo 
cratic" and "Democratic Republican were both used in 
the campaign of i824, 41 but in a few localities only. The 
party, like that of Adams and Clay, still regarded itself as 
the Republican party, and this name continued as the official 
one to the close of the campaign of 1832, with " Democratic 
Republican " gaining but not supplanting " Republican " in 
current usage. 

34 Ibid., vol. xxxviii, p. 332. 

35 Richards to McLean, October i, 1831, McLean MSS. 

36 Gl obe, May i, 1832. 

3T Kendall to A. G. Meriweather, May 22, 1829, Jackson to Tam 
many Society, May 2, 1831, quoted in Niks Register, vol. xxxvi, 
p. 241 : vol. xl, p. 229. 

38 History Pamphlets, vol. 293, No. 22, Johns Hopkins University 

39 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 108. 

40 Seward, Autobiography, p. 64. 

41 Van Buren, Autobiography, p. 98 ; pamphlet dated November 
14, 1823, in Donelson MSS. 




October 4, 1832. 

Gentlemen: Your letter of the 25th August found me at this 
place. I regret extremely that the delay in its reception, occasioned 
by my absence, has prevented an earlier attention to its contents. 

By the resolutions which you have been appointed to communi 
cate to me, I am advised that those by whom they were adopted, 
desire to be informed of my sentiments "on the subjects of the 
protective system and its proper adjustment, internal improvement, 
the Bank of the United States, and nullification." 

The right of those you represent, to be informed of my opinions 
on those interesting subjects, as derived from the position in which 
the favor of my fellow citizens has placed me, is undoubted ; and 
in cheerfully complying with their request, I have only to regret, 
that the inconvenience of the situation in which it finds me, conse 
quent upon the hurry and confusion attending the further prosecu 
tion of my journey, and the importance, to the fulfilment of the 
objects of your constituents, of as little delay as possible in the 
transmission of the communication, preclude anything like an elab 
orate discussion of the subjects under consideration, if indeed such 
a course would, under more favorable circumstances, be desirable to 
you. The regret, however, which I might otherwise experience on 
this account, is relieved by the hope, that my fellow citizens of 
North Carolina, preferring, with characteristic good sense, results to 
speculations, will be as well satisfied, and as effectually aided in the 
intelligent bestowment of their suffrages, by a brief but explicit 
avowal of my opinions, as they would be by an elaborate disserta 
tion upon subjects which have been so thoroughly and diffusively 

Although my official acts in relation to the protective system, 
might well be regarded as rendering the avowal unnecessary, I 
think it, nevertheless, proper to say, that I believe the establish 
ment of commercial regulations, with a view to the encouragement 
of domestic products, to be within the constitutional power of Con 
gress. Whilst, however, I have entertained this opinion, it has 
never been my wish to see the power in question exercised with an 
oppressive inequality upon any portion of our citizens, or for the 
advantage of one section of the union at the expense of another. 
On the contrary, I have at all times believed it to be the sacred 
duty of those who are entrusted with the administration of the 
federal government, to direct its operations in the manner best 
calculated to distribute as equally as possible its burthens and bless- 



ings amongst the several states and the people. My views upon 
this subject were several years ago spread before the people of this 
state, and have since been widely diffused through the medium of 
the public press. My object at that time was to invite the attention 
of my immediate constituents to a dispassionate consideration of 
the subject in its various bearings; being well assured, that such 
an investigation would bring them to a standard, which, from its 
moderation and justice, would furnish the best guarantee for the 
true interests of all. If, as has been supposed, those views have 
contributed in any degree to produce a state of feeling so much to 
be desired, I have reason to be gratified with the result. 

The approaching, and if the policy of the present Executive is 
allowed to prevail, the certain and speedy extinguishment of the 
national debt, has presented an opportunity for a more equitable 
adjustment of the tariff, which has already been embraced by the 
adoption of a conciliatory measure, the spirit of which will, I doubt 
not, continue to be cherished by all who are not desirous of ad 
vancing their private interests at the sacrifice of those of the public, 
and who place a just value upon the peace and harmony of the 

The protective system and its proper adjustment, became a sub 
ject of frequent and necessary consideration, whilst I formed a 
part of the cabinet; and the manner in which the president pro 
posed to carry into effect the policy in relation to imposts, recom 
mended in his previous messages, has since been avowed with that 
frankness which belongs to his character. To this end he recom 
mended " a modification of the tariff, which should produce a reduc 
tion of the revenue to the wants of the government, and an adjust 
ment of the duty upon imports, with a view to equal justice in rela 
tion to all our national interests, and to the counteraction of foreign 
policy, so far as it may be injurious to those interests." * 

In these sentiments I fully concur; and I have been thus explicit 
in my statement of them, that there may be no room for misappre 
hension as to my own views upon the subject. A sincere and faith 
ful application of these principles to our legislation, unwarped by 
private interest or political design ; a restriction of the wants of 
the government to a simple and economical administration of its 
affairs the only administration which is consistent with the purity 
and stability of the republican system; a preference in encourage 
ment given, to such manufactures as are essential to the national 
defence, and its extension to others in proportion as they are 
adapted to our country, and of which the raw material is produced 
by ourselves; with a proper respect for the rule that demands that 
all taxes should be imposed in proportion to the ability and condi 
tion of the contributors; would, I am convinced, give ultimate 
satisfaction to a vast majority of the people of the United States, 
and arrest that spirit of discontent which is now unhappily so preva 
lent, and which threatens such extensive injury to the institutions 
of our country. 

Internal improvements are so diversified in their nature, and the 
possible agency of the federal government in their construction, so 

1 Quoted by Van Buren from Jackson s third annual message; cf. 
Richardson, Messages and Papers, vol. ii, p. 556. 


variable in its character and degree, as to render it not a little dif 
ficult to lay down any precise rule that will embrace the whole sub 
ject. The broadest and best denned division, is that which distin 
guishes between the direct construction of works of internal 
improvement by the general government, and pecuniary assistance 
given by it to such as are undertaken by others. In the former, 
are included the right to make and establish roads and canals 
within the states, and the assumption of as much jurisdiction over 
the territory they occupy, as is necessary to their preservation and 
use : the latter is restricted to simple grants of money, in aid of 
such works, when made under state authority. 

The federal government does not, in my opinion, possess the first 
power specified; nor can it derive it from the assent of the state 
in which such works are to be constructed. The money power, as 
it is called, is not so free from difficulty. Various rules have from 
time to time been suggested by those who properly appreciate the 
importance of precision and certainty in the operations of the federal 
power ; but they have been so frequently infringed upon by the ap 
parently unavoidable action of the government, that a final and 
satisfactory settlement of the questions has been prevented. The 
wide difference between the definition of the power in question 
upon paper, and its practical application to the operations of govern 
ment, has been sensibly felt by all who have been entrusted with 
the management of the public affairs. The whole subject was re 
viewed in the president s Maysville message. Sincerely believing 
that the best interests of the whole country, the quiet, not to say 
stability, of the union, and the preservation of that moral force 
which perhaps as much as any other holds it together, imperiously 
required that the destructive force of legislation upon that subject, 
then prevalent, should, in some proper and constitutional way, be ar 
rested, I throughout gave to the measure of which that document 
was an exposition, my active, zealous and anxious support. 

The opinions declared by the president in the Maysville, and his 
succeeding annual message, as I understand them, are as follows: 
ist. That Congress does not possess the power to make and estab 
lish a road or canal within a state, with the right of jurisdiction to 
the extent I have stated; and that if it is the wish of the people 
that the construction of such works should be undertaken by the 
federal government, a previous amendment of the constitution con 
ferring that power, and defining and restricting its exercise, with 
reference to the sovereignty of the states, is indispensable. 2d. An 
intimation of his belief that the right to make appropriations in aid 
of such internal improvements as are of a national character, has 
been so generally acted upon, and so long acquiesced in by the 
federal and state governments, and the constituents of each, as to 
justify its exercise; but, that it is nevertheless highly expedient 
that even such appropriations should, with the exception of such as 
relate to lighthouses, beacons, buoys, piers and other improvements, 
in the harbors and navigable rivers of the United States, for the 
security and facility of our foreign commerce, be deferred at least 
until the national debt is paid. 3d. That if it is the wish of the 
people that the agency of the federal government should be re 
stricted to the appropriation of money, and extended in that form, 


in aid of such undertakings, when carried on by state authority, 
then the occasion, the manner and extent of the appropriation, 
should be made the subject of constitutional regulation. 

In these views I concurred; and I likewise participated in the 
difficulties which were encountered, and expressed by the presi 
dent, in adopting the principle which concedes to the federal gov 
ernment the right to make appropriations in aid of works which 
might be regarded as of a national character difficulties which 
arose as well from the danger of considering mere usage the 
foundation of the right, as from the extreme uncertainty and con 
sequent insecurity of the best rule that had ever been adopted, or 
that could, in the absence of a positive constitutional provision, be 
established. The reasons on which these objections were founded, 
are so fully stated in the document referred to, and have been so 
extensively promulgated that it is unnecessary for me to repeat 
them here. Subsequent reflection and experience have confirmed 
my apprehensions of the injurious consequences which would prob 
ably flow from the usurpation of appropriations for internal im 
provements, with no better rule for the government of congress 
than that of which I have spoken ; and I do not hesitate to ex 
press it as my opinion, that the general and true interests of the 
country would be best consulted by withholding them, with the ex 
ceptions which I have already referred to, until some constitutional 
regulation upon the subject has been made. 

In this avowal, I am certainly not influenced by feelings of indif 
ference, much less of hostility, to internal improvements. As such 
they can have no enemies. I have never omitted to give them all 
the proper aid in my power ; for which, by the way, I claim no par 
ticular merit, as I do not believe there is an honest and sane man 
in the country who does not wish to see them prosper: but their 
construction, and the manner in which and the means by which they 
are to be affected, are quite different questions. Rather than again 
expose our legislation to all the corrupting influences of those 
scrambles and combinations in congress, which have been hereto 
fore witnessed, and the other affairs of the country to the injurious 
effects unavoidably resulting from them, it would, in my opinion, 
be infinitely preferable to leave works of the character spoken of, 
and not embraced in the exception which has been pointed out, for 
the present, to the supports upon which they have reposed with so 
much success for the last two years, viz: state efforts and private 
enterprise. If the great body of the people become convinced that 
the progress of these works should be accelerated by the federal 
arm, they will not refuse to come to some proper constitutional ar 
rangement upon the subject. The supposition that an equitable rule, 
which pays a proper respect to the interests and condition of the 
different states, could fail to receive, ultimately, the constitutional 
sanction, would be doing injustice to the intelligence of the country. 
By such a settlement of the question, our political system, in addi 
tion to the other advantages derived from it, would, in relation to 
this subject at least, be relieved from those dangerous shocks which 
spring from diversities of opinion upon constitutional points of deep 
interest; and, in the meantime, the resources of the country would 
be best husbanded by being left in the hands of those by whose 
labor they are produced. 


I am unreservedly opposed to the renewal of the charter of the 
United States bank, and approve of the refusal of the president 
to sign the bill, passed for that purpose, at the last session of con 
gress, as well on account of the unconstitutionality, as the impolicy 
of its provisions. 

I am equally opposed to the principle of nullification, as it is 
called. With whatever sincerity that doctrine may be entertained 
by others, I believe that it is entirely destitute of constitutional 
authority, and that it could not be adopted, without drawing after it 
the ultimate but certain destruction of the confederacy. 

That these views will be universally acceptable to those who have 
called them forth, I do not allow myself to expect. He who thinks 
in a country, the interests of which are so diversified as ours, and 
in respect to the constitution of which construction is made to per 
form so great a part, that the purest intentions, or the most pro 
found reflections, can enable him so to shape his political tenets 
as to meet the approbation of all; or who is so unreasonable as to 
require that those of the public service should, in all respects, cor 
respond with his own, must expect to make up his account with 
disappointment or deception. For myself, I cherish no such hope. 
All I ask, is a fair confidence in the sincerity of the principles I 
have avowed, and in the fidelity with which they will be maintained. 
It is not possible that any nomination could have been more en 
tirely unsolicited, by word or deed, than that which has been be 
stowed upon me. Had it not been for the event to which, as I 
have before said, I feel myself principally indebted for it, I should 
not have hesitated to decline, however highly distinguished the 
honor intended for me is felt to be. And I beg my fellow citizens 
of North Carolina to believe, that, notwithstanding the deep sense 
which, in common with the people of the union, I entertain of their 
unwavering though unpretending patriotism and unspotted political 
faith, and the high gratification I should derive from being thought 
worthy of their confidence, I shall feel it a duty to be content with 
whatever disposition of the question they, in the honest exercise of 
their opinions, shall see fit to make. 

With sentiments of high consideration, I am, gentlemen, your 
obedient servant, 


To Joseph H. Bryan, Josiah T. Cranberry and Memucan Hunt, 

esqs., committee, &c. 

This letter in pamphlet form is in the Van Buren MSS. 



Adopted by the National Republican Convention of young 
men on May 10, 1832. This convention met at Washington, 
D. C, May 7-12, 1832. 

On motion of Mr. Flagg, of South Carolina, seconded by Mr. 
Perkins, of Connecticut, it was 

Resolved, That a committee, consisting of one individual from 
each State represented in this Convention, and the District of Co 
lumbia, be appointed to draft resolutions upon such subjects as 
shall be deemed proper to be acted upon by this Convention. 

The following gentlemen were accordingly selected for this pur 

Messrs. William Paine, of Maine; E. Seymour, of Vermont; T. 
Darling, of New Hampshire ; Thomas Kinnicutt, of Massachusetts ; 
James Anthony, of Rhode Island; C. M. Emerson, of Connecticut; 
C. Morgan, jun., of New York; J. D. Miller, of New Jersey; E. T. 
McDowell, of Pennsylvania; Evan H. Thomas, of Delaware; 
Thomas G. Pratt, of Maryland ; Andrew Hunter, of Virginia ; 
Henry C. Flagg, of South Carolina; S. Brown, of Louisiana; Wil 
liam N. Bullitt, of Kentucky ; Edward H. Gumming, of Ohio ; 
Thomas P. Coleman, of the District of Columbia. 

Mr. Kinnicutt, of Massachusetts, from the Committee on Resolu 
tions, reported the following: 

1. Resolved^ That, in the opinion of this Convention, although 
the fundamental principles adopted by our fathers, as a basis upon 
which to rear the superstructure of American independence, can 
never be annihilated, yet the time has come when nothing short of 
the united energies of all the friends of the American Republic can 
be relied on, to sustain and perpetuate that hallowed work. 

2. Resolved, That an adequate protection to American industry is 
indispensable to the prosperity of the country; and that an aban 
donment of the policy at this period would be attended with con 
sequences ruinous to the best interests of the nation. 

3. Resolved, That a uniform system of internal improvements sus 
tained and supported by the General Government, is calculated to 
secure, in the highest degree, the harmony, the strength, and the 
permanency of the Republic. 

4. Resolved, That the Supreme Court of the United States is the 
only tribunal recognized by the constitution for deciding, in the 
last resort, all questions arising under the constitution and laws of 
the United States, and that, upon the preservation of the authority 
and jurisdiction of that court inviolate, depends the existence of the 



5. Resolved^ That the Senate of the United States is preeminently 
a conservative branch of the Federal Government; that, upon a 
fearless and independent exercise of its constitutional functions, de 
pends the existence of the nicely balanced powers of that Govern 
ment; and that all attempts to overawe its deliberations, by the 
public press, or by the national Executive, deserve the indignant 
reprobation of every American citizen. 

6. Resolved, That the political course of the present Executive 
has given us no pledge that he will defend and support these great 
principles of American policy and of the constitution ; but, on the 
contrary, has convinced us that he will abandon them whenever the 
purposes of party require. 

7. Resolved, That the indiscriminate removal of public officers, 
for a mere difference of political opinion, is a gross abuse of power ; 
and that the doctrine lately "boldly preached" in the Senate of the 
United States, that to the " victor belong the spoils of the enemy," 
is detrimental to the interests, corrupting to the morals, and dan 
gerous to the liberties of the People of this country. 

8. Resolved, That we hold the disposition shown by the present 
national administration, to accept the advice of the King of Holland, 
touching the northeastern boundary line of the United States, and 
thus to transfer a portion of the territory and citizens of a State 
of this Union to a foreign power, to manifest a total destitution 
of patriotic American feeling; in as much as we consider the life, 
liberty, property, and citizenship of every inhabitant of every State, 
as entitled to the national protection. 

9. Resolved, That the arrangement between the United States 
and Great Britain relative to the colonial trade, made in pursuance 
of the instructions of the late Secretary of State was procured in 
a manner derogatory to the national character, and is injurious to 
this country in its practical results. 

10. Resolved, That it is the duty of every citizen of this Republic, 
who regards the honor, the prosperity, and the preservation of our 
Union, to oppose, by every honorable measure, the re-election of 
ANDREW JACKSON, and to promote the election of HENRY 
CLAY, of Kentucky, and JOHN SERGEANT, of Pennsylvania, 
as President and Vice President of the United States. 1 

1 From " Proceedings of the National Republican Convention of 
Young Men, which assembled in the City of Washington, May 7, 
1832." Printed, Gales and Seaton, Washington, 1832. In History 
Pamphlets, vol. 293, No. 18, Johns Hopkins University Library. 







Approximate majority 
or plurality 

New Hampshire 



i, 000 




( Electors 
1 lature 
I Floyd 













> chosen 
and voted 
of Virgini 




1 1, 000 







Jackson over 
both 5 781 

Jackson over 
Clay 5,692 

Wirt s plurality. 1,954 
Clay over both . 3,381 
Clay over both . 500 
Clay over both. 3,142 
Jackson over 
both. ... 13,347 
Jackson s plural 
ity. .. 360 
Jackson over 
Wirt 24,267 

Massachusetts . 
Rhode Island . . 
New York 2 

New Jersey .... 
Pennsylvania . . 

Clay over Jack 
son 171 



Jackson over 
Clay 49 


Jackson over 
Clay 22,067 

North Carolina 

South Carolina 




by legis- 
for John 




Jackson over 
Clay 19,822 

Jackson 30,000 

Jackson over 
Clay 7,000 

Jackson over 
Clay 1 ,200 






Jackson over 
Clay 1,592 
Jackson over 
Clay 38,000 

Clay over Jack 
son 14,000 

Jackson over 
both 4,198 


Jackson over 
Clay 2,000 


. . , . . . 


Jackson over 
Clay 2,000 


Jackson over 
Clay 4,000 





1 The above figures and estimates are based chiefly on Niles* 
Register, vol. xliii, pp. 135-251 passim. 

2 Antimasonic vote in New York is combined with the National 
Republican, as the two parties chose the same ticket of electors. 

Estimate of vote. 

6 No ticket in the field. 





The Papers of Nicholas Biddle. 

The Papers of Andrew Jackson Donelson. 

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The Papers of John McLean. 

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The Papers of Daniel Webster. 

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Smith, Mrs. Samuel H., The First Forty Years of Washington So 
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House Report, No. 460, 22nd Congress, ist Session. 

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Senate Document No. 17, 23rd Congress, 2nd Session. 


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The Daily Globe. [Washington]. 

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" The Proceedings of the United States Antimasonic Convention 
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" Proceedings of the Second United States Antimasonic Convention, 
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Bell Book & Stationery Co., Richmond, 1913. 

Bassett, John Spencer, Life of Andrew Jackson. 2 vols. Double- 
day, Page & Co., Garden City, New York, 1911. 


Catterall, Ralph C. H., The Second Bank of the United States. 
University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1903. 

Channing, Edward, History of the United States, 1789-1815. 4 vols. 
Macmillan, New York, 1912-1917. 

Houston, David F., A Critical Study of Nullification in South Caro 
lina. Longmans, Green & Co., New York, 1896. 

Hunt, Gaillard, John C. Calhonn. George W. Jacobs & Co., Phila 
delphia, 1908. 

McCarthy, Charles, The Antimasonic Party; A Study of Political 
Antimasonry in the United States, 1827-1840. The Annual Re 
port of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, 
vol. i, Chap. XVI. 

McMaster, John Bach, A History of the People of the United 
States from the Revolution to the Civil Way, 8 vols. D. 
Appleton & Co., New York, 1884-1913. 

Oberholtzer, Ellis P., Philadelphia, A History of the City and 
People. 4 vols. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Philadelphia, 

Parton, James, Life of Andrew Jackson. 3 vols. Mason Brothers, 
New York, 1860. 

Scharf, J. Thomas, The Chronicles of Baltimore. Turnbull 
Brothers, Baltimore, 1874. 

Stanwood, Edward, A History of Presidential Elections, 3rd ed. 
revised. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston, 1892. 


Adams, John Quincy, initial po 
litical strength of, 13-14; 
elected President by House 
through Clay s support, 19; 
political effects on, of appoint 
ing Clay to State Department, 
21 ; effect of his inaugural and 
first annual messages, 22-23; 
opposition to, forming, 23; 
overwhelming defeat in 1828, 
30-31 ; approached by Antima- 
sons in campaign of 1832, 44; 
rumors of Antimasonic nomi 
nation of, at Baltimore, 48. 

Addresses, political, character 
of, and difference from plat 
form, 140. 

Albany Argus, mouthpiece of the 
Regency, edited by Crosswell, 

Albany Regency, character and 
power of, in New York, 12; 
loses control of the State, 18- 
19; regains control, 25-26; re- 
allied with Junto, 25-26; ef 
fective support of Jackson in, 
18-32, 154. 

Alliance, first instance of, be 
tween South and West, 31 ; po 
litical , between Virginia and 
New York, 12, 20, 25-26. 

Antimasonic Convention, used 
locally by the party from out 
set, 34; significance of, at Al 
bany, 34-35 ; call for, at Phila 
delphia, 35-36; at Philadel 
phia, 38-42; probability of 
nomination of McLean by, at 
Baltimore, 44-45, 47-48; at 
Baltimore, 45-52; precedents 
established, 51-52. 

Antimasonic party, origin of, 29; 
union with Adams followers 
in New York causes split in, 
3O, 33; leaders of, desire to 
use movement for political 
ends, 33, 35-37, 4O-4I ; ele 
ments comprising, 32; commit 

tee of, appointed at Utica, 
analogous to present party na 
tional committee, 34; signifi 
cance for, of Albany conven 
tion, 34; holds first national 
party convention, 38-42; op 
posed to Jackson, 36; spreads 
rapidly in North, 37; Clay s 
attitude toward, 43 ; holds first 
national nominating conven 
tion, 45-52; Wirt s attitude 
toward, 49-51, 142-143; union 
with National Republicans in 
New York, 145-146; causes of 
defeat in 1832. 

Bank, United States, Jackson s 
attitude toward, 105-106, 123- 
124; nature of, 106-108; efforts 
to secure Jackson s good will 
for, 109-110; effect of Jack 
son s first message on, in; 
becomes identified with Na 
tional Republican party, 118- 
119; expenditures for propa 
ganda, 120-121, 150-151 ; Mc- 
Lane s report on, 121-123; 
National Republican party 
adopts, as chief issue, 125; ap 
plies for recharter, 128; con 
gressional reports on, 133; the 
central campaign issue, 134; 
recharter of, vetoed, 134, 149. 

Barber, James, 67, 70. 

Barber, Philip, 49, 91, 144, 145. 

Barry, William T., 75, 77, 89-90, 

Ben ton, Thomas H., on effect of 
internal improvements on cam 
paign of 1824, 15; on rejection 
of Van Buren s nomination, 
93; leads in fight against re- 
charter, 118, 120, 133. 

Berrien, J. McP., 73, 76, 77, 79, 

Bibliography, 171-174. 

Biddle, Nicholas, president of 
the Bank, 105-106; clashes 




with the administration, 105- 
109; urges efforts to counter 
act effect of President s opin 
ions, 111-113, n6; Clay s ad 
vice to, against application for 
recharter, 115-116; campaign 
for recharter, 117, 124, 128- 
130; involves Bank deeper in 
party politics, 119-120; works 
for Bank rather than for Clay 
and National Republicans, 130. 

Binney, Horace, 118, 129. 

Blair, F. P., 84, 90. 

Branch, John, 73, 76, 89. 

Brooke, Francis, 55, 66, 114. 

Blount, Willie, 132. 

Burrows, Silas E., 120. 

Ca binet, membership, 74-76 ; 
dissolved, 88-89; new cabinet, 
89-90; friends of Bank in, 121. 

Cadwalader, Thomas, 118, 126- 

Calhoun, John C, initial political 
strength, 13-14; loses Penn 
sylvania and becomes candi 
date for Vice President, 18; 
grounds for supporting Jack 
son, 21-22, 73, 74; loses favor 
with Jackson, 77-80; breach 
with Jackson, 81 ; friends of, 
plot to oust Jackson from 
party leadership, 83-86; de 
feats Van Buren s nomination 
as minister, 93-95; followers 
of, oppose Van Buren s nomi 
nation at Baltimore, 95 ; 
schemes of friends of, in cam 
paign of 1832, 143-145. 

Cambreleng, C. C., 26, 92, 94, 131. 

Cameron, Simon, 98, 103-104. 

Campaign, of 1824, character and 
effect of, on old Republican 
party, 13; candidates, 13-14; 
results, 30-31. 

Campaign, of 1828, opening, 21- 
23 ; issues, 23, 30-31 ; course 
of, 26-27 ; definite party align 
ment visible in, by 1826, 27; 
results, 30-31. 

Campaign, of 1832, essentially 
different from those of 1824 
and 1828, 135 ; issues of, Jack 
son s party doctrines, 135-139; 
enters last stage, 139; opinions 

as to result of, 142-143, 152- 
153; nature of Jackson s vic 
tory in, 154; estimate of popu 
lar vote in, 170. 

Carroll, Charles, of Carrollton, 
70, 103, 140-141. 

Catron, John, in. 

Catterall, Professor R. H. C., 
error as to Jackson s attitude 
toward recharter in December, 
1831, 123-124. 

Caucus, congressional, general 
dissatisfaction with, 15, 17; re 
volt against, born in West, 17 ; 
completely discredited, 20. 

Clay, Henry, initial political 
strength, 14; nominated by 
state caucus, 70; union with 
Adams, 19-21 ; leader of na 
tionalists, 53 ; letter to Webster 
as to future course, 53; 1832 
campaign of, launched, 56-60; 
nomination by party certain, 
60-61 ; nominated, 68; advises 
Biddle against applying for re- 
charter, ii3Kii6; doubtful 
prospect for election of, 65- 
66, 125, 151-152; urges Bank 
to apply for recharter at once, 
125-126; defeat in 1832, 153; 
popular vote for, 154, 170. 

Convention, precedents of pro 
cedure established by State of 
Pennsylvania, 18, 20, 28-29; 
used from outset by Antima- 
spns, 34; precedents of Na 
tional, established by Antima- 
sons, 42, 46, 52; by National 
Republicans, 68-69, 7 1 ; by 
Democrats, 98-99, 100-102, 
103, 104. See Nominating 
convention ; Antimasonic con 
vention ; National Republican 
convention ; Democratic-Re 
publican convention. 

Crawford, William H., initial 
political strength, 13-15; fa 
vored by Virginia and New 
York leaders, 15 ; leading can 
didate in 1823, 16; nominated 
by congressional caucus, 17; 
loses New York, 18-19; with 
draws from national politics, 
22; attitude of followers in 
supporting Jackson in 1828, 



27-28, 74; discloses Calhoun s 
hostility to Jackson in 1818, 

Dallas, G. M., 91, 96, 100, 128, 
129, 130. 

Daniel, P. V., 100, 147, 149. 

Democratic party, its doctrines 
the policies of Jackson in 1828- 
1832, 136; used with "Repub 
lican " to distinguish Jackso- 
nian from National Republi 
cans, 156-160, 161-162. 

Democratic-Republican Conven 
tion, need for, 96; origin of, 
97 ; character of delegations 
to, 97-99; proceedings at Bal 
timore, 99-103 ; precedents es 
tablished by, 98-99, 100-102, 
103, 104; significance of, 104. 

Eaton, John H., 75, 77-79, 89. 

Eaton, Mrs. John H., wives of 
Calhoun s friends shun, 77-78; 
Jackson s failure to force her 
into society, 78; effect of, on 
political future of Calhoun 
and Van Buren, 78^-79. 

Election. See Campaign. 

Ellmaker, Amos, 41, 50. 

Forsyth, John, 49, 80-81, 147. 
Floyd, John, 143, 153. 

Gallatin, Albert, 116-117. 

Globe, The, 84, 85-86, 88, 97, "8. 

Green, Duff, 24, 75; becomes 
hostile and is removed as party 
editor, 83; heads plot to re 
place Jackson with Calhoun as 
party leader, 83-85; publishes 
Jackson-Calhoun correspond 
ence, 85. 

Grundy, Felix, 63, 105. 

Hamilton, Alexander, 113, 132. 
Hamilton, James A., 75, 80, 92, 

H3, 132. 
Hayne-Webster debate, effect on 

Calhoun s political prospects, 

Harrisburg convention, 1832, 95- 


Hemphill, Joseph, 112. 
Hill, Isaac, 77, 90, 96-97. 

Indian removals, campaign issue, 

Ingersoll, Charles Jared, lobbyist 
for Bank, 119-120, 129-130. 

Ingham, S. D., 28, 73, 75, 77, 79, 
89; clashes with Biddl e while 
head of Treasury, 108-110. 

Internal improvements, effect on 
party alignment in 1823, 15- 
16; a vital part of National 
Republican doctrine, 56 ; Mays- 
ville veto of, used by National 
Republicans as initial cam 
paign issue, 56-59. 

Jackson, Andrew, initial politi 
cal strength, 17-18, 19-20; 
nominated by state legislative 
caucus, 17; nominated by first 
state nominating convention 
in Pennsylvania, 18; plurality, 
1824, 19; support of, 1828, 24; 
necessity of carrying two of 
largest States, 25 ; election of, 
in 1828, 30; character of sup 
port of, in 1828, 72-74; breach 
with Calhoun, 81-82; candi 
date for reelection, 86-88; dis 
misses Calhoun members of 
cabinet, 88-89; attitude toward 
Bank, 105-106, no, 116, 123- 
124; nature of his victory in 
1832, 154, 170. 

Jefferson, Thomas, n, 14-15; 
anniversary dinner, 79. 

Johnson, R. M., candidate for 
Vice President in 1832, 91 ; 
withdraws in Van Buren s 
favor, 94 ; Kentucky delegation 
instructed for, 98 ; receives 
vote of Kentucky, Illinois and 
Indiana delegations at Balti 
more, 102. 

Johnston, J. S., 57. 

Jones, Walter, makes first speech 
seconding a nomination, 59. 

Kendall, Amos, 77, 90, 96-97. 

King, William R., 100-102. 

" Kitchen Cabinet," raison d etre, 
76; personnel, 77; promotes 
Jackson s candidacy for reelec 
tion, 87 ; used by Jackson more 
for political management, 90; 
connection with the party con- 

178 INDEX 

vention at Baltimore, 96; National Republican Party, 

solidly against Bank except Adams defeat makes Clay 

Lewis, 121. leader of, 53-54; launches 

campaign in 1830, 56-59; or- 

Lacock, Abner, 60. ganiration of, in New York, 

Lewis, W. B., 77; with Eaton, 60; Maysville veto fails to 

informs Jackson of Forsyth strengthen, 62-63 ; adopts cause 

letter, 80; influence weakened of Bank as chief issue, 118- 

by advocacy of Bank, 90, 100, 119; leaders of, urge imme- 

no; letter to Kendall suggest- diate application for recharter 

ing party nominating conven- by Bank, 126-130; gloomy 

tion, 96-97. prospect of, 141 ; unites with 

Livingston, Edward, 89, 121, 133. Antimasons in New York, 145- 

Livingston, Peter R., makes first 146; fails of complete success 

nominating speech in conven- in Kentucky, 151-152; causes 

tion, 68. for defeat of, in 1832, 154; 

Lucas, General Robert, 100. name of, 156, 160-161. 

New York, in political alliance 

Marcy, W. L., 92, 146. with Virginia, n ; alliance dis- 

Marshall, John, warns Clay of solved, 20-21; alliance recon- 

violent opposition forming, structed with New York in 

23; sounded as to accepting . T . le ^ d 2 5~26. 

Antimasonic nomination, 49. Nicholl, Josiah, 114-115. 

Maysville veto. See under In- Niles, Hezekiah, first suggestion 

ternal Improvements and Na- for national nominating con- 

tional Republican party. vention contained in letter to, 

McDuffie, 127-128, 131, 132-133. l6 ; at National Republican 

McLane, Louis, 89-90; report on convention, 66 n. 

Bank, 112; active in behalf of Nominating convention, first 

Bank, 121-122; effects of his suggestions for national, 16; 

report 123-124 127 introduced by Jacksomans in 

McLean, John, sounded by Pennsylvania 18; highest de- 

Antimasonic leaders, 37-38, velopment of, on state scale, 

42-43; agrees conditionally to 2 ? first national, 45-52. See 

on outcome of campaign, 142- Noryall) j ohn> II3> I2O 

I4 3- Nullification, connection of, with 

VT * T 11. ^ campaign of 1832, 136, 138- 

National Intelligencer, 61, 120, j, o v 

129, 160-161. 

National Republican convention, Panama m i ss i on , center of oppo- 

a following of Antimasonic sition attack, 23. 

example, 60-61 ; advocated by Party names , derivation and uses 

local conventions, 61-62; dele- o f f 155-162. 

gates elected to, 64; chief ob- p arty platform, first use of, 140, 

ject of, 65; session at Balti- 168-169. 

more, 66-70 ; precedents es- Pennsylvania, stampedes to Jack- 

tablished by, 71; calls conven- son in 1823, 18; leads in de- 

tion of young men, 70, 139; velopment of the nominating 

proceedings of young men, convention, 28-29; attitude 

139-141. toward internal improvements, 



55-56; hostile to Van Buren, 
. 91 ; nominates Wilkins for 

Vice President, 95-96; passes 
resolutions favoring recharter 
of Bank. 

Randolph, John, 23, 123. 

Removals, from office, Jackson s 
motive for, the effects of, 136- 

Republican party, old, drift to 
ward nationalism, 12-13 > split 
into five factions by campaign 
of 1824, 21 ; all factions regard 
themselves as the true, 155; 
retained as official designation 
of Jackson party as late as 
1832, 155, 162. 

Richards, B. W., 141. 

Richmond Enquirer, mouthpiece 
of Junto, 12. 

Richmond Junto, power in Vir 
ginia politics, 12; relations 
broken off with Regency, 21- 
22; alliance of, with Regency 
reconstituted, 25-26; effective 
support of Jackson in 1832, 

Ritchie, Thomas, suggests na 
tional nominating convention, 
12, 16; warns Van Buren of 
political danger in Virginia, 
89, 147- 

Sergeant, John, 43, 69. 

Seward, William H., 35 ; on com 
mittee to sound Adams as to 
Antimasonic nomination, 44; 
delegate to Baltimore conven 
tion, 48-49; his account of 
Wirt s nomination, 49-50. 

Shocco Springs, North Carolina, 
political meeting, 147; Van 
Buren s reply to inquiries from 
committee of, 148-150, 163- 

" Siamese Twin Party," 146. 

Smith, General Samuel, relations 
with Bank, 112, 121, 123, 128; 
on effect of Bank s application 
for recharter, 134. 

Stevens, Thaddeus, favors Anti- 
masonic nominations at Phila 
delphia in 1830, 41 ; favors 
forcing nomination on McLean 
at Baltimore, 49-50. 

Sumner, Frederick, 99. 

Taney, Roger B., Attorney-Gen 
eral, oo; against Bank, 121, 
133; probable writer of part 
of Jackson s Bank veto mes 
sage, 150. 

Telegraph, United States, 24, 83- 
86, 1 20, 129. 

Two-thirds rule, originated and 
applied by Democratic-Repub 
lican convention, 100-101. 

Unit rule, originated by Demo 
cratic-Republican convention; 


Van Buren, Martin, head of Re 
gency, 12; leader of Crawford 
forces, 16; comes out for Jack 
son, 23; reestablishes New 
York-Virginia alliance in sup 
port of Jackson, 25-26; Secre 
tary of State, 74-75; nomi 
nated minister to Great Britain, 
90; Jackson s preference for, 
91 ; in touch with political situ 
ation, 92; nomination rejected, 
912-93; party* leaders united 
upon, for Vice President, 93- 
94; directs campaign in New 
York, 146 ; views on campaign 
issues, 148-149, 163-167. 

Vice Presidency, Calhoun candi 
date for, 18-19, 32; candidates 
for, in 1832, 91, 95-96, 144. 

Virginia, aversion to Jackson, 
25 ; political situation in, 99. 

Virginia-New York alliance, 
character, n ; dissolved, 20; 
reestablished with New York 
in lead, 25-26. 

Vote, popular, in 1832, 170. 

Webb, James W., 128, 129. 

Webster, Daniel, Clay s letters to, 
on campaign of 1828, 27, 30, 
on plans for campaign of 1832, 
53 ; watching administration 
for opening issue, 54; letter 
to Gay as to launching cam 
paign, 56^-57; opinion of Cal- 
houn s difficulty, 82; Biddle 
asks aid from, 112, 118, 120; 
insistent on application for re- 
charter by Bank, 127, 129: 



work in Congress for re- Green s plot against Jackson s 

charter of Bank, 133; Clay s leadership, 84. 

gloomy letter to, over prospect Wirt, William, attitude toward 

in Kentucky, 151-152. Antimasons, 49-51 ; letter to 

Weed, Thurlow, 33, 34, 35, 37, McLean on political outlook, 

38, 47, 49, 50, 146. I42-U1 

Welles, J ^" " r T - 1 


reverb Duff Woodbury, Levi, 90, 133- 


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